This vase was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841). Schinkel believed that, as an architect, his purpose was to be 'the ennobler of all human relationships'. His interests encompassed more than just buildings; he designed ceramics, furniture, stage-sets, gardens and landscapes and was also interested in painting, dioramas and panoramas.
Schinkel's contribution to Prussia was spectacular. Although Prussia's size, influence and power had begun to rise in earnest during the reign of Frederick The Great, Prussia's sense of nationhood matured in the first half of the 19th century after Napoleon's defeat in 1815. Prussia strove to redefine itself, as King Friedrich Wilhelm III declared; 'we must make up in intellectual might what we have lost in military might'. Schinkel was instrumental in the formation of an architecture that both reflected these sentiments and constructed a visual expression of Prussia's new identity. The vast majority of the buildings he designed were built during his time as an administrator of the Prussian state building service (1815-1841), and such was his influence that the period has been dubbed the Schinkel-zeit.
Prussia's re-emergence as a great European power during this time corresponded with an avalanche of self-referential topographical views of Berlin and its environs on porcelain. During the Friderican period porcelain had reflected the king's tastes, frequently incorporating strong similarities between the porcelain and the interiors of the buildings which they were designed for; but now the buildings, and the new Prussian national identity they symbolised, actually made their way onto porcelain.