19 May 2004
A famille rose mythological teabowl and saucer, Venus and Mercury
QIANLONG, CIRCA 1745
Enamelled with a mythological scene depicting Venus and Mercury reclining out in the open with a pair of doves hovering above, trees and rocks in the background, below a narrow floral band around the rim, the base enamelled with an erotic scene showing the unclad couple on a daybed below two doves, hairline cracks and frittings
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The same design has been used by Meissen porcelain painters from Augsburg. Hervouët and Bruneau, La Porcelaine des Compagnies des Indes: Décor Occidental, Paris, 1986, p.303, illustrate variations on this design.
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Offered to benefit a new scholarship initiative from Bennington College, this work distils the unique form of abstraction for which the artist would become famous
Ahead of the sale of portraits of four different muses, we focus on the women the artist came to depend on so passionately