30th-Anniversary Special Exhibition : From the Collection of the Museum of MEISSEN Art, MEISSEN Manufactory “300 Years of Meissen”

The city of Meissen, the birthplace of European porcelain located in eastern Germany, has celebrated its 300th anniversary of porcelain production in 2010. The exhibition unravels the birth of Western porcelain and all aspects of its 300 years of history by displaying approximately 230 works owned by the Museum of MEISSEN Art, MEISSEN Manufactory.
Since the Age of Discovery in the 15th century, Chinese porcelain, which was brought into the European continent along with spices and silk gradually enthralled the hearts of the kings and nobles with its glistening white body of substantial quality. Porcelain, began to be imported in large quantities to the European continent in the 17th century by the East India Company, was so valuable that it was also known as “white gold”, creating a great rage of collecting among the aristocracy and wealthy people. August the Strong (r.1694-1733), Elector of Sachsen, one of the most ardent collectors of porcelain, turned his passion towards producing porcelain in his own country. Under the command of the king, alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger (1682-1719) studied the production method of porcelain, which he achieved in 1709, the commemorative year of the birth of the first European hard-paste porcelain. In 1710, the royal porcelain factory was established in Meissen, eastern Germany. The technique of polychrome enameling was later developed by painter Johann Gregorius Höroldt (1696-1775) as well as the technique of sculpting by the sculptor Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706-1775). These successors of Böttger had made a significant contribution to the establishment of the unique style of Meissen ware in terms of superb artistry and modeling, which led to the unwavering recognition of Meissen as an extraordinary production center of porcelain that cannot be found anywhere else. Even today, after 300 years, production is still flourishing, its charm never diminishing.
Starting with the imitations of Chinese Yixing and Dehua wares, predecessors of porcelain, this exhibition gathers a wide variety of masterpieces in one place, each of which representing different periods of its history - the kakiemon-utsushi (imitation of kakiemon) and chinoiserie works that imply longing for the orient; life-size animal sculptures made for producing a porcelain menagerie which August the Strong had been dreaming of; Rococo-style figurines representing the court life; works displayed in the world EXPO; and innovative works produced in the era of “modernism”. We hope you will enjoy the beauty of the world of Meissen porcelain which arose from the passion towards the “white gold” and nurtured by the European court culture.



30th-Anniversary Special Exhibition
 From the Collection of the Museum of MEISSEN Art, MEISSEN Manufactory “300 Years of Meissen”


Saturday, April 7 ― Sunday, July 22, 2012


The Museum of Oriental Ceramics,Osaka
1-1-26,Nakanoshima, Kita-ku,Osaka
-Just in front of “Naniwabashi” station of Keihan Nakanoshima Line
-400m from “Yodoyabashi” station of Subway Midosuji Line or Keihan Main Line.
-400m from “Kitahama” station of Subway Sakaisuji Line or Keihan Main Line.

Opening hours:

from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (last admission: 30 minutes prior to closing time)


Mondays (open on April 30 and July 16), Tuesday, July 171

Organized by:

he Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka; Museum of MEISSEN Art, MEISSEN Manufactory; NHK Osaka Station; NHK PlanNet, Inc. Kinki Branch Office

With the Support of:

Deutsche Botschaft Tokyo; Deutsches General Konsulat Osaka-Kobe

n collaboration with:

Fujikizai Co., Ltd.

Cooperation by:

G.K. Japan Agency Co., Ltd.; Lufthanza Cargo; Deutsche Lufthanza AG

Produced with the cooperation of:

NHK Promotions Inc.


Adults 1,000yen (800yen)
University and high school students 600yen (500 yen)

・Prices in parenthesis are group discount rates for a party of 20 people or more.
・The following visitors are free of charge:
*Holders of Shintaishogaisha techo (Identification Booklet for the Physically Challenged), including one companion
*Senior citizens of Osaka City holding IDs including:
Kenko techo (Health Handbook) with a ‘crane’ mark
Keiro yutai joshasho (senior discount ID for public transportation)
*Junior-high school students and under

Number of items on display:

approximately 230 pieces

Also showing:

Featured Exhibition:
Korean Ceramics of the Rhee Byung-Chang Collection
Permanent Exhibition:

Chinese and Korean Ceramics of the Ataka Collection
Japanese Ceramics
Chinese Snuff Bottles of the Oki Shoichiro Collection


The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka
Phone: 06-6223-0055
Fax : 06-6223-0057

■Discount Coupon
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Major Works

Lidded vase with “Indian Flower” design
modeled: c.1725, manufactured: c.1730-1735

Height: 52.0cm

Museum of MEISSEN Art, MEISSEN Manufactory

This large covered vase apparently reveals influence from Chinese or Japanese porcelain. This type of vase, also known as “palace vase”, was produced for the purpose of decorating the palace interior. The motif with an oriental flavor is called “Indianische Blume” or “Indian Flower”, named after the East India Company which imported East Asian porcelain to Europe. This piece, decorated with enamels of crimson, reddish purple, yellow and green standing out brilliantly on the white, glossy background, is a good example indicating the accomplishment of porcelain with polychrome enamel decoration in Europe.

Menagerie animal sculpture:
Monkey with snuff box,overglaze enamels with gold
Modeled by Johann Joachim Kaendler, ca 1732 manufactured second half of the 20th century

Height: 48.0cm,
Museum of MEISSEN Art, MEISSEN Manufactory

In the European court society of the 17th and 18th centuries, exotic animals such as elephants, lions and monkeys were highly valued even more than porcelain and the aristocrats strived to collect such animals to create a menagerie within the palace property. King Augustus decided to reproduce the animals out of porcelain to make a “porcelain menagerie”. Kaendler, a highly skilled court sculptor, was appointed by the king and produced many vibrant, realistic and charming masterpieces such as this work. Snuffing tobacco was a popular practice among the high society at that time, the extravagant container of which had been a treasure for the aristocrats to show off. The monkey is an anthropomorphic figure depicting the image of such nobleman.

Pair of lovers
overglaze enamels with gold
modeled by Johann Joachim Kaendler, Johann Friedrich Eberlein, Johann Gottlieb Ehder, 1744, manufactured ca.1900

Height: 20.0cm

Museum of MEISSEN Art, MEISSEN Manufactory

One of the typical and popular forms of Meissen porcelain is figurines. They were originated from human figures that used to decorate the dining tables or interiors of the court at that time. Figurines portrayed diverse subjects, such as people of various social classes, from the king to a commoner, satirical or allegorical themes represented in animal figures and specific theatrical scenes.

Vase, “Triumphal procession of the sea goddess Amphitrite” , overglaze enamels with gold
modeled by Ernst August Leuteritz, 1865
decoration by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld manufactured second half of the 19th century


Museum of MEISSEN Art, MEISSEN Manufactory

During the 19th century, the industrial development produced wealthy middle class. The production of porcelain, the artistic quality of which could be exploited as well as its practical value, became a new industrial field being sought after by these people. Elegant pieces with extensive use of extravagant gold-painted decoration and motifs adopted from Greek or Roman classics were produced and widely distributed both inside and outside the country. This large piece, having a height of 1 meter adopting a scene of a Greek myth on the sea goddess Amphitrite and Poseidon on the surface, was exhibited in the 1867 Paris Exposition.