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PAINTED BY CHRISTIAN ADLER (1787-1850) • SIGNED 'NACH CORNELIUS' (LOWER LEFT) AND 'VON ADLER' (LOWER RIGHT); DATED 1822 (UPPER RIGHT) • REVERSE INSCRIBED 'JA' • HEIGHT 30" • WIDTH 13" • DEPTH 9 1/2"
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This recently discovered magnificent vase was made to commemorate the marriage of King Johan of Saxony (1801-73) of the House of Wettin (k. 1854-73) to Princess Amalie of Bavaria (1801-77) on November 21, 1822. The vase is mentioned by Georg K. Nagler, History of Nymphenburg (1834), as 'Grosse Vase mit der Vergötterung des Herkules narch Cornelius'. It is currently being researched by Dr. Alfred Ziffer.
While the details surrounding the history of the vase have yet to be revealed, it is readily apparent on a visual analysis that no expense or effort was spared in its creation. It is an imposing and bedazzling example of the Empire style in Germany, of the kind more frequently found in the production of Sèvres or Berlin. The vase is decorated with a stunning array of classical ornamentation in tooled gilding against a matt royal blue ground, intentionally moulded around its lower waist to simulate gilt-bronze. The ornamental devices, consisting of palmettes, anthemions, pateras, vitruvian scrolls and arabesques, are all echoed in the casting of the gilt-bronze handles.
The central scene, painted by the leading painter of the factory. Christian Adler, must depict an allegory of the King and Queen (he dressed as Hercules) surrounded by children or angels and three ladies. Very interestingly, at the lower left corner of the scene, an angel holds a blue vase which looks very much like the vase itself.