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Reference prints for painting at the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory in the 18th century

Project organizers:

In this project the prints used as patterns for Meissen porcelain in the 18th century will be investigated in detail for the first time, very little being known about them up to now. This will involve, first and foremost, inspecting the preserved items in the archives of the Meissen State Porcelain Manufactory and in the Kupferstich-Kabinett of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and then matching them with surviving porcelain décor. The resources available in other cabinets of prints and drawings and other libraries will be inspected at a later stage. The project will investigate the way in which the Meissen painters used these reference prints and how they adapted them in their own work. A further aim is to establish when the prints entered the Manufactory, which subjects were chosen and who was responsible for their selection. In this connection it is also necessary to take account of the role of Count Heinrich von Brühl and his secretary and librarian Carl Heinrich von Heinecken, who was appointed Director of the Royal Kupferstichkabinett in 1746.

Intended results and aims:

since March 2011

Freundeskreis der Dresdner Porzellansammlung im Zwinger e.V.

Project manager:
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Pietsch, Museum director Porzellansammlung

Project team member:
Dr. des. Claudia Bodinek, Research assistant, Porzellansammlung

Cooperative partners:
Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen, Archive
Dr. Peter Braun
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Kupferstich-Kabinett
Dr. Tobias Pfeifer-Helke

Interim results, publications:
Colloquium organized by Freundeskreis der Dresdner Porzellansammlung im Zwinger e.V.
in the Albertinum on April 16th 2011



  • Jakob Frey (after: Carlo Maratta), Tod des Heiligen Franz Xaver, 1733, Copper engraving, Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Photo: Herbert Boswank
  • Johann Joachim Kaendler, Der Tod des Heiligen Franz Xaverius, White porcelain, Meissen, between 1738 and 1740, H: 101 cm; Porzellansammlung, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Photo: Herbert Jäger