The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Probably vase 'à bâtons rompus' of the first size
  • Vase and Cover
  • Probably vase 'à bâtons rompus' of the first size
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Possibly Étienne Maurice Falconet (1716 - 1791), Designer
  • Sèvres, France
  • c. 1770
  • Soft-paste porcelain and gilt-bronze, painted and gilded
  • Object size: 45.3 x 30 cm
  • Incised mark: A square
  • C271
  • Study
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Introduced in 1763, this classically-inspired model features elements from ancient architecture: flutes and triglyphs on stem and shoulder and a meander- like decoration on the lower part. It was probably designed by the sculptor Etienne-Maurice Falconet (op. 1757-66), who besides vase designs mainly supplied models for biscuit figures to the manufactory (see C492 and C493-4)
    It is decorated with a turquoise blue ‘bleu céleste’ (‘heavenly blue’) ground colour, and painted with a young woman about to undress for her bath, accompanied by her maid. The erotic scene is based on François Lemoyne’s painting ‘La baigneuse’ from 1724, which belonged to one of Sèvres’ shareholders, Etienne-Michel Bouret, during the 1750s and also served Falconet as a model for a sculpture of the single bathing figure. However, as the image on the vase is in reverse to the original composition, an engraved version by Laurent Cars, acquired by the manufactory in 1764, must have been the direct reference for the Sévres painter.