History of the Nymphenburg Porcelain Factory
The porcelain manufacture Nymphenburg has been handcrafting finest porcelain for 260 years. Porcelain services, figures and objects of the greatest quality and purity have been produced at just this one location in the world – the Nördliches Schlossrondell in Nymphenburg – since the 18th century.
The company achieved world renown with Franz Anton Bustelli from Ticino, who as the model master assumed the artistic directorship at the company from 1754. His rococo designs, and particularly his main body of work – the 16 figures from the Commedia dell’Arte – count undisputedly among the most artistic pieces of his time.
In the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, it was such people as Friedrich von Gärtner, Adelbert Niemeyer, Josef Wackerle and Wolfgang von Wersin who continued to promote the factory’s fine reputation even through financially difficult times.
Since its founding Nymphenburg has counted the international high aristocracy as well as embassies, churches and palaces in Germany and other countries among its customers. Its products have received many prizes and may be admired in the world’s major design collections, e.g. the MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Fondation Nationale in Paris, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien and the Neue Sammlung at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.
As one of the last, Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg still produces each individual item by hand. A fact that is appreciated by experts and collectors alike.
Pierre-Jules Mêne ( 1810 – 1879 ) was a French sculptor and animalière. He is considered one of the pioneers of animal sculpture in the nineteenth-century.
Mêne produced a number of animal sculptures, mainly of domestic animals including horses, cows and bulls, sheep and goats which were in vogue during the Second Empire. He was one of a school of French animalières which also included Rosa Bonheur, Paul-Edouard Delabrierre, Pierre Louis Rouillard, Antoine-Louis Barye, his son-in-law Auguste Caïn, and François Pompon.
His work was first shown in London by Ernest Gambart in 1849. Mêne specialised in small bronze figures which explains why none of his works exist as public statuary. His work was a popular success with the bourgeois class and many editions of each sculpture were made, often to decorate an increasing number of private homes of the period.