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Plaque - Painted Porcelain, Holy Family and Angel, European, circa 1880 Object Reg. No: HT 22541

In central Europe, and particularly those countries were Catholicism remained the dominant religion such as Italy, Austrian and southern Germany, religious scenes were a popular subject to be illustrated on decorative art objects.

This hand-painted porcelain plaque depicts the infant Christ being held by the Virgin Mary, accompanied by his father Joseph and an angel. This particular plaque has a folding leg attached at the back enabling it to stand, either on a mantle or shelf. Painted porcelain ware in this style is typical of similar items being produced in Vienna or Dresden during the late nineteenth century.

One Dresden-based exhibitor, the Helena Wolfsohn factories, presented a range of 'porcelain paintings on elegant vessels, for use or ornament.' The successor to her father's porcelain business which traded under the name 'L. Meyer & Sons', Helena Wolfsohn (neé Meyer) took over the business in 1843 and the workshops continued trading under her name until 1878 when they passed to W.E. Stephan and Leopold Elb. So established was the factories' reputation, they continued to use the Wolfsohn name when exhibiting in Melbourne during the 1880 International Exhibition.
Finely painted porcelain plaque with image of Mary, Joseph, Jesus and an angel sitting by rocks in front of a lake. Framed in a deep red velvet frame with leg stand at back.
Acquisition Information:
Cultural Gifts Donation from Dr Will Twycross, 2009
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 260 mm (Height), 260 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: exhibitions melbourne international 1880-1881, royal exhibition building, religious artifacts, paintings
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection, John Twycross Melbourne International Exhibitions Collection
Secondary Classification: International Exhibitions
Tertiary Classification: exhibition heritage
Place & Date Made: Europe, circa 1880
Place & Date Exhibited: Mr John Twycross, Elsternwick, Victoria, Australia, 1880-1881
Collector: Royal Exhibition Building (REB), Carlton, Victoria, Australia, 1881

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