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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "An Exceptionally Rare Pair of Sèvres Porcelain Presentation Vases"
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Marked to the base of each vase ‘Dore A Sèvres, S74’, and incised ‘AD-74, 3’, and ‘P.V-R 74.2/BF’.
The incised initials almost certainly refer to François-Alexandre David, gilder and painter at the Sèvres manufactory between 1844 and 1882.
Each vase is of an unusual pale lavender colour, the distinctive ‘bottle’ shape with elongated faceted necks derived from early Persian metalware. They are described in the Sèvres records from 1874 as 'Vase Bouteille Persanne'. The main body is centred by a scrolling strapwork cartouche containing the inscription:
EXPOSITION DES BEAUX-ARTS, CABANEL, MEMBRE DE L'INSTITUT, VICE-PRESIDENT DU JURY SECTION DE PEINTURE, 1874.
The inscription refers to the influential French painter Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889) who was vice president of the Jury responsible for selecting pictures for the 1874 Paris Salon.
The Salon, the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris, was generally thought of as the most important annual exhibition in the world. As well as being a showcase for established artists, the exhibition gave up-and-coming artists the chance to present their work to discerning viewers.
Alexandre Cabanel was considered one of the great academic painters of the Second Empire. He was appointed professor at the École des Beaux-Arts and was elected member of the Academy of Fine Arts. Between 1868 and 1888, he sat on the Salon jury 17 times and received the prestigious Medal of Honour in 1865, 1867 and 1878.
Celebrated in his own times for his classically rendered portraits and genre scenes; his fame today in part arises from his unequivocal opposition to the Impressionists and the outreach of modernity.
In April 1874, the year in which Cabanel was presented with the vases, a group of artists, the ones rejected by the Salon jury, opened an exhibition independent of the Salon as the Société Anonyme des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs. This was to be the first true exhibition of Impressionist art; the contributing artists included Cézanne, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas, Monet, Manet, and his sister-in-law Berthe Morisot.
The importance of Cabanel to the history of French painting, both as a painter and as a senior member of the Salon Jury, and in his rejection of the Impressionists works from the 1874 Salon, makes this unusual pair of vases extremely significant and rare.
|Height||53.00 cm||(20.87 inches)|
|Width||20.00 cm||(7.87 inches)|