A pair of Empire porcelain vases, approximate year 1820.
Hand-painted and beautifully gilded Empire vases from around 1820. A rare pattern ( form) of this period. Very high quality painting. Inch figures of caryatids on the sides.
Height 26.5 cm
This pair is an important illustration of the fashion aesthetic of the time, when the trend was formed by groups called "Incroyables et Merveilleuses." The Incroyables (French for "inmates") and their female counterparts, the Merveilleuses (French for "gorgeous women"), were members of the fashionable aristocratic subculture in Paris during the French Directory (1795-1799). Whether as catharsis or in a need to reconnect with other survivors of the Reign of Terror, they greeted the new regime with an explosion of luxury, decadence and even silliness. They held hundreds of balls and launched trends in fashion and manners that today seem exaggerated. Members of the ruling classes were also among the movement's leading figures, and the group had a major influence on the politics, dress and art of the period.