Fine porcelain and glass will be on display in the exhibition in the Neoclassical Library at the LIECHTENSTEIN MUSEUM. The connecting element here lies in the coloured decoration, the motifs and design of which reflect the spirit of the epochs – Baroque, Neoclassical and Biedermeier – in which these objects were created. Around 700 exhibits from two private Viennese collections will provide rare insights into this fascinating aspect of the decorative arts.
Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, Vienna, Sorgenthal period. Cup and saucer, c. 1796. © LIECHTENSTEIN MUSEUM. Die Fürstlichen Sammlungen, Wien
Two private Viennese collections
Consisting predominantly of Bohemian glass from the Biedermeier era, the Kuhn Collection presents the art of glass in all its variety and glorious colour. Over the past 35 years Christian Kuhn has assembled a superb collection of glass which focuses in particular on the spectacular imitation gemstone glasses but also includes veduta glasses as well as cut and wheel-engraved glasses. Pieces by unknown artists rub shoulders with famous names such as Mohn, Kothgasser, Biemann or Egermann, giving the collection its own, personal note.
Rudolf von Strasser is well-known in the art world as a collector of glass and an author of books on this specialist field. The LIECHTENSTEIN MUSEUM is now showing the complete holdings of Viennese porcelain assembled over the years by this remarkable collector. From the imaginative shapes of the Baroque, taking in the ‘grotesques’ of the Hausmaler Ignaz Preissler, via the splendid gold relief décor of the Neoclassicalage to the flower paintings of the Biedermeier era, the Rudolf von Strasser Collection contains rare and precious examples of porcelain art.
Two arts born of fire
The fascination of these two delicate and fragile materials – glass and porcelain – and their mysterious creation in the heat of the fire have a long history. In the early modern period they were objects of wonder in princely cabinets of curiosities. The Renaissance and Baroque produced graceful creations in glass, while the 18th century found its favourite material with the discovery of the arcanum, the formula enabling the production of genuine European porcelain. At the beginning of the 19th century, technical and scientific developments had led to close connections between the two materials. This is demonstrated by the juxtaposition of these two private collections and will constitute a focus of the exhibition. For example, it was not uncommon for porcelain painters to paint on glass and vice versa, resulting in an exchange of techniques and artistic knowledge.
Radiance and colour
Colour is a fundamental element of decoration with both materials. As early as the Baroque age, a strong palette of colours started to develop and become popular on porcelain, attaining perfection in the heyday of Neoclassicism.
Open 23 October 2009 – 12 January 2010