October, 17, 2007 - January, 13, 2008

The exhibition hall of the Assumption Belfry

Organized by:
The Moscow Kremlin Museums, State Hermitage Museum, Imperial Porcelain Factory 

Krater vase with malachite decorThe display, placed in the exhibition hall of the Assumption Belfry, represents masterpieces of the Imperial Porcelain Factory. Founded in 1744 on the order of Empress Elizabeth, the porcelain factory was intended to produce products exclusively for the ruling Tsar's family and the Russian Imperial Court.

Desire of Peter the Great to establish his own porcelain production was finally fulfilled by his daughter Elizabeth Petrovna. Her contribution to development of the Russian porcelain factory is vividly depicted by the various ceramics items, represented at the exhibition, i.e. plaques, pieces of plates, tea- and coffee- sets, fancy milk jugs, salt-cellars, ornamental flowerpots. The collection of figured porcelain snuff-boxes, which are the wonders of delicate workmanship, is worthy of particular attention.

In 1765 the manufacture was granted the status of Imperial Porcelain Factory by Catherine the Great. The Orlovsky set, executed in the second half of the XVIIIth century, reveals a certain period of the Russian porcelain production and the development of its design.

Since Emperor Paul I succeeded to a throne the European tradition of donations in the shape of porcelain artworks has become an essential part of the court etiquette and diplomacy of Russia. One of the masterpieces of the late XVIIIth century is a desk set with monogram of Paul I, executed under the project of sculptor Rachette.

Alexander I was fond of the Russian national themes and motives, i.e. images if nature, views of Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. One of the most favorite subjects of the porcelain design was related to the Patriotic War of 1812. Under Alexander I the famous Guryev Service was created.

Decorative porcelain of the epoch of Nicholas I is represented by works, performed on a genre subject. The Kremlin and Konstantinovsky sets painted by Solntcev are the symbols of that tendency.

The items of the next historical period demonstrate the upsurge in porcelain production and application of new techniques, for example an underglaze paint. Artworks executed under Nicholas II reveal the innovative technology used for the porcelain production as well as influence of theatrical theme on design of chinaware and porcelain sculpture.

The very display is worth of visiting for everyone who is interested in Russian culture. It represents the peculiarities of the porcelain production at the Imperial Porcelain Factory and tendencies of the Russian arts and crafts.