Tea canister

ARTIST / MAKER: Meissen porcelain factory (manufacturer)
DATE: ca.1740 (made)
PLACE: Germany (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in overglaze enamels and gilt

During the 1740s and 50s, the work of the French painter Antoine Watteau (1684–1721) was very fashionable and many scenes after Watteau’s work were used to decorate porcelain produced at the Meissen porcelain manufactory in Germany. His paintings feature imaginary pastoral landscapes, with couples and figures in aristocratic and theatrical dress. During the artist’s lifetime, the term ‘fête galante’ was coined to describe these scenes. This canister is decorated with a scene after a print of a Watteau painting known as ‘Les Jaloux’ (1712). On one side, a lady is seated beside a harlequin under a tree, while the opposite side is decorated with a richly dressed lady playing the lute.