From: Denver Art Museum Limited Edition: 11 Exhibition: Artisans & Kings: Selected Treasures from the Louvre Material: Printed 2-ply vinyl Dimensions: 30" x 89" (76cm x 226cm)
Hanging Hardware Included
The Sevres porcelain manufactory outside Paris was established in 1738 and is still operating today. Their high quality porcelain and gorgeous hand-painted decoration earned Sevres spots in the households of aristocrats and royalty the world over. A vase in the factory's ornate style with a royal blue background and central medallion with carefully painted grisaille scenes of cherubs stands tall on 21 banners from Denver.
The Louvre museum in Paris is one of the word’s most visited museums, attracting some 1.2 million American visitors alone each year – more than many American museums draw. So, the Louvre has now formed partnerships with several American museums to broaden exposure to its world-class collections on this side of the Atlantic. One of the museums to benefit from this is the Denver Art Museum which recently hosted its first such show, Artisans & Kings: Selected Treasures from the Louvre.
Banners from the exhibition feature a variety of show highlights, including a 1769 vase from the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory. As the museum describes, “On a scale of technical difficulty, this vase is a 9.9. Here’s why…To make the painted gold border around the winged children, gold powder was applied to the vase with a paste made of garlic (think of how sticky garlic can be when you cut it). The vase was then fired at a low heat, which burned off the garlic and fused the gold to the vase. To get gold this thick, the process had to be repeated several times. Each time the vase went into the kiln, it was at risk of cracking, breaking, or just having a small piece of grit baked into the surface....To “reserve” a space for a small painting, artisans applied the background color to the porcelain, then scraped off the area they wanted to keep white. On most pieces of porcelain, the artisan reserved a simple shape like an oval. But on this vase, the artisan had to scrape off the complicated silhouettes of winged infants—right down to the tiny fingers. The paintings, done in shades of gray to look like carved stone, had to fit exactly inside the scraped-off space….The entire surface of the vase is covered with gold dots grouped in fours, each dot carefully daubed on by hand. It’s a pretty labor-intensive way to add a bit of shimmer.”
On the banner, the vase sits on a rich lavender background that complements the vibrant tones of the vase. Text in black above the image reads “Artisans & Kings/Selected Treasures from The Louvre”; the museum’s name and exhibition dates are printed below the image “Denver Art Museum/October 6 – January 6”. Both sides of the banner are identical.
These banners were displayed around Denver, Colorado from October 6, 2007 through January 6, 2008 to promote the exhibition Artisans & Kings: Selected Treasures from the Louvre at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibition featured works from the collection of The Louvre museum in Paris that were also seen at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art.