The Chateau de Versailles is hosting what sounds to be a fantastic exhibition of painting on porcelain. Good porcelain in the 18th century was painted by hand, often with idealized, almost saccharine scenes like something from Watteau (which isn’t to denigrate either the porcelain or Watteau). Young women in Europe and the American colonies would often paint porcelain themselves as a folk art. Many were extremely talented artists, though of course there were professionals who painted porcelain as well.
Versailles was filled with various types of porcelain, from teapots to chamber pots (legend has it that there was a chamber pot with Ben Franklin’s face painted on the bottom!). This particular exhibition is of the porcelain of Charles Nicolas Dodin, whose work came from the Vincennes-Sèvres factory. Sèvres porcelain was well-known and sought after in its day. It was considered the height of good (and expensive) taste. Today, I’m sure it’s equally as impressive.
If you hurry–and I mean hurry–you can see the exhibition at the Chateaus de Versailles. It’s only on until September 9th (see what I mean about hurrying?).
Here is a link to the page on the Chateau’s official site: