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Pair of Augustus Rex vases with Celadon Ground and Battle Scenes

Decoration by Adam Friedrich Löwenfinck (1714-1754)
Meissen, c. 1735
AR monogram in underglaze blue, thrower’s sign x for Johann Daniel Rehschuh

H. 28 cm

Description

The present beaker vases have one special feature in particular: they are marked on the underside with a conjoined monogram “AR” (for Augustus Rex) in underglaze blue. This mark was applied exclusively to pieces destined to form part of the collection of the Saxon elector and Polish king Augustus II “the Strong”. A pair of vases of comparable form and likewise bearing the AR mark and the thrower’s sign “x” for Johann Daniel Rehschuh is preserved at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (published in: Abraham L den Blaauwen, Meissen Porcelain in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 2000, p. 303, cat. Nos. 219/220). In respect of their decoration the present vases also have features in common with the reference pieces from Amsterdam: all the vases are decorated on the long neck section with a ground colour enclosing on each vase two large pictorial cartouches with gold surrounds. On the foot the vases are decorated with indianische Blumen.

The generously sized cartouches on the two present vases with their celadon grounds contain scenes with riders and soldiers against the background of a bare mountainous landscape. These scenes were adopted from prints executed by Georg Philipp Rugendas the Elder (1666­-1742) that were part of a series of engravings and etchings showing war scenes. In these works Rugendas drew from his own personal experience of war, as he had, for example, been present at the siege of Augsburg by Bavarian and French troops during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1703/1704.

In the pictorial decoration of the vases two engravings were used displaying groups of riders (published in: Andrea Teuscher, Die Künstlerfamilie Rugendas 1666-1858. Werkverzeichnis zur Druckgraphik, Augsburger Museumsschriften 9, Augsburg 1998, pp. 18/19, cat. nos. 184 and 231). Large numbers of contemporary prints were purchased by the Meissen manufactory for use in the painters’ workshop, where it was common practice to copy motifs and also to combine them in new ways.

It can be assumed that both these vases were painted by Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck (1714-1754) to whom the vases from the Rijksmuseum already referred to have also been attributed (cf. Ulrich Pietsch, Phantastische Welten. Malerei auf Meissener Porzellan und deutschen Fayencen von Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck 1714-1754, Munich 2014, p. 218, cat. no. 134-136). The floral décor as well as the style of the European horsemen shown on a base of ground are in complete accordance with Löwenfinck’s work, which Ulrich Pietsch compiled in 2014 in a comprehensive catalogue produced for an exhibition devoted to Löwenfinck.

Literature

Abraham L den Blaauwen, Meissen Porcelain in the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam 2000)

Ulrich Pietsch, Phantastische Welten. Malerei auf Meissener Porzellan und deutschen Fayencen von Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck 1714-1754, Munich 2014

Andrea Teuscher, Die Künstlerfamilie Rugendas 1666-1858. Werkverzeichnis zur Druckgraphik, Augsburger Museumsschriften 9 (Augsburg 1998)

REF No. 740