Monkeys and lions, an eagle and a peacock, even a “Bolognese lapdog” are assembled here: the hall of Meissen porcelain animals is a special attraction within the Porzellansammlung. The Dresden collection is the most exquisite, and also the largest, specialist ceramics collection in the world, not least on account of the outstanding holdings of early Meissen porcelain as well as oriental porcelain dating from the 17th and early 18th centuries. August the Strong (1670-1733) was passionate about porcelain. It is to his "maladie de porcelaine", as he himself called his obsession with the "white gold", that Dresden owes its unique collection. The most beautiful items from among the 20,000 objects that have been preserved are now on display in the delightful rooms inside the Zwinger, against the constant Baroque backdrop of the Zwinger courtyard. The spectrum of porcelain wares on show extends from specimens dating from the Ming Dynasty in China and abundant holdings from the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662–1722) to Japanese Imari and Kakiemon wares from the early 17th and the 18th century. The development of Meissen porcelain from its invention in the year 1708 until the late 18th century is also illustrated by works of supreme craftsmanship.
Over the past few years, the internationally renowned New York architect Peter Marino has drawn up designs for the interior decoration of the two ‘curved galleries’ (Bogengalerien) and the animal hall (Tiersaal). In the Long Gallery, for example, there is an opulent wall arrangement with turquoise porcelain in front of a purple violet wall. This ensemble was planned in a larger form for the Porcelain Palace – the Japanisches Palais. The animal hall features leather wall coverings after the fashion of the early 18th century. And in the middle of the hall are two Chinese-style baldachins with a five-metre high pavilion in Chinese design topped by a pagoda roof and featuring porcelain bells. On gilt wall consoles there are porcelain birds designed by the Meissen modeller Kaendler – also in the 18th century.
Video: Reopening 2010 Porzellansammlung