Artwork of the Week: February 14

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Vincennes Factory (French, active about 1740–1756), Jardinière

Vincennes Factory (French, active about 1740–1756), Jardinière, soft-paste porcelain with enamel decoration, about 1751–52. 5 3/16 x 9 3/8 in. Gallery 23A

Jardinière is the term used to describe the dish of fresh vegetables that accompanies the main course at a table setting. The one seen here was made with soft-paste porcelain, the formula for which allowed for a richer range of enamel colors than hard-paste porcelain, but was often known to be very fragile and its glazes susceptible to cracking. This dish would have, presumably, been part of a lavish table setting as evidenced by its ornately and carefully hand-painted flower decoration and the sweeping lines of the gold-painted details. For other fine examples of French art, be sure to visit The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden, through May 11, 2014.

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