Three Centuries of Elegance
Manufacture de Sèvres 1740 – 2015

17 October - 17 December 2015
Jinsha Site Museum, Chengdu, China
October 17, 2015, the exhibition Three Centuries of Elegance: Manufacture de Sèvres 1740 - 2015 is presented at Jinsha Site Museum in Chengdu. The exhibition is jointly organised by Jinsha Site Emperor of China (Qianlong), Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche, 1775 Muesum, Cité de la Céramique (Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, Musée National de la Céramique, Musée National Adrien Dubouché in Limoges) and Galerie DUMONTEIL, co-organised by pARTage. Mr. Olivier Vaysset, the Consul General of France in Chengdu and the Cultural Commissioners, leaders form Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Culture and Jinsha Site Museum, and other cultural celebrities will attend the grand inauguration ceremony.

The exhibition will guide the audience to explore the historical Manufacture and the connection between Sèvres and China through more than 110 exquisite porcelain pieces from Sèvres. The visitors will be able to engage directly with works of art through talks led by curators and invited specialists focusing on specific aspects of the collection.

The exhibition draws from near 300 years of extraordinary productions of the Manufacture de Sèvres, which features more than 110 pieces and comprises of a variety of types with especially refined appearance and high levels of craftsmanship.

In the introduction section, the historical connection between Sèvres and China will be illuminated through the porcelain piece commissioned by the Chinese Emperor Qianlong at Sèvres. The centrepiece sculpture L'Amour Ménaçant was created during the time when the famous French Rococo sculptor Étienne Maurice Falconet was at Sèvres. The sculpture depicts cupid who is resting a finger on his lip, ready to unleash an arrow filled with love, and whispering and inviting visitors to begin the journey of the Art of Ceramics. Jinsha Site Museum will also present three rare pieces from Tang dynasty, highlighting the centuries-long conversation between France and China in the Art of Porcelains.

The main section of the exhibition will be divided into 4 main parts - "Quintessence of a Manufacture: Blue, White and Gold", "Dreaming a Vase" with a special presentation of the porcelain vases from 1930s, "Tables of History, Tables of Power" including the Service Uni with décor by Paul Charlemagne for the Embassy of France in Beijing in 1953, and at last "Dessin Protéiforme" illustrated by the pieces showing the incomparable creativity of Sèvres. Visitors will be able to discover works from the time of Louis XV until the Art Deco, as well as the innovative experiments of the Manufacture de Sèvres with some of the most important figures in the history of art and design, such as nineteenth-century French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Italian architects and designers Michele De Lucchi, Andrea Branzi, Ettore Sottsass, sculptors Jean Arp, Marcel Derny, Pierre Charpin, Louise Bourgeois and Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The rich collection is also highlighted by the only ceramic piece ever created by Auguste Rodin during his lifetime, as well as a selection of dinnerware sets which Sèvres specially designed for National Assembly of France.

The end of the exhibition will give the visitors an opportunity to see the savoir-faire passed down from generations of craftsmen of Sèvres. The series of photos titled The Transfigured Clay (La Terre Transfigurée), captured by Sophie Zénon, document the life in 27 ateliers and of 150 craftsmen in this prestigious institution.

A special review of the exhibition and the history of Sèvres will also be available in a catalogue specially published for this occasion, representing the opportunity for an international audience to explore this sophisticated western manufactory and its history of nearly three hundred years.