The “Spanish Lovers” Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706 - 1775)

Model, c. 1740
Manufacture and decoration, Meissen c. 1740/41

Impressed number “45” (twice)
H. 18.7 cm (7⅜ in.)


For comparison
Basel, Historisches Museum, Stiftung Pauls-Eisenbeiss (published in Ingelore Menzhausen, In Porzellan verzaubert. Die Figuren Johann Joachim Kaendlers in Meißen aus der Sammlung Pauls-Eisenbeiss Basel, Basel 1993, p. 187); Berlin, Kunstgewerbemuseum (inv. no. HF 223, published in Stefan Bursche, Meissen. Steinzeug und Porzellan des 18. Jahrhunderts. Kataloge des Kunstgewerbemuseums Berlin, Vol. IX, Berlin 1980, p. 304, cat. no. 312); Boston, Museum of Fine Arts; Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Porzellansammlung (inv. no. P.E. 524, published in Ulrich Pietsch, Meißner Porzellanplastik von Gottlieb Kirchner und Johann Joachim Kaendler, Munich 2006, p. 70, cat. no 98); Hamburg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (published in Hermann Jedding, Europäisches Porzellan. Bd. I. von den Anfängen bis 1800, Munich 1971, fig. 127); Hartford/Conn., The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, J. Pierpont Morgan Collection; Kassel, Schloss Wilhelmsthal; Copenhagen, Kunstindustriemuseum; London, Victoria and Albert Museum (inv. no. C.115-1932) and Fenton House; Paris, Musée des Arts décoratifs; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Irwin Untermyer Collection (inv. no. 64.101.68); San Francisco, M. H. de Young Memorial Museum; Toronto, Gardiner Museum (published in Chilton 2001, p. 300, no. 83); Warsaw, National Museum

As in the case of the couple in The Indiscreet Harlequin, the two lovers in this model who are talking a walk cannot be identified with certainty. Perhaps they represent one of the pairs of commedia dell'arte lovers, or two members of the court shown – as was often the case with such figures or groups – in fancy dress. The group is not mentioned in the work reports or in Kaendler’s Taxa, but the “Spezifikation des Weißen Chorps” (a listing covering whiteware production) of January 1740 refers to this model as a “Spanier Gropgen” or “Spanish group”. [1] This is an allusion to the gentleman’s historical attire, the details of which recall the Spanish fashions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The black breeches have blue rosettes at the knees and three wide gold-edged slashes over each thigh under which the white lining is visible. The green jacket with its foliate ornament has sleeves attached at the shoulder under a ruffle seam and is also slashed to the elbow. A cloak over the gentleman’s right shoulder and a white ruff complete his outfit. He is leaning towards his beautiful companion, whose arm and hand he is holding, and he is gazing lovingly into her eyes. The lady is wearing a flattened gold-edged panier à coudes or hoop skirt that became fashionable in France around 1730, as did the hairstyle neatly framing her face and the hat worn low over her forehead.

[1] Quoted from Röbbig München, Ausgewählte Werke. Frühe deutsche Porzellane, Kunst und Einrichtung des 18. Jahrhunderts (Munich 2013), p. 290, cat. no. 76.

[2] Johann Heinrich Zedler, Großes vollständiges Universal-Lexikon aller Wissenschaften und Künste, 64 vols., (Halle/Leipzig 1732–54), vol. 21, p. 1026.

[3] See Bursche 1980, p. 304, cat. no. 312.

[4] See Chilton 2001, p. 300, no. 83.

REF No. 442