Founded near Dresden in 1710 by Augustus II, “the Strong,” elector of Saxony and king of Poland, the Meissen manufactory was the fountainhead of porcelain production in Europe throughout the eighteenth century. Obsessed with the sumptuous “white gold,” Augustus II amassed a treasure trove of works from his Meissen workshops, as well as lavish examples from China and Japan. He kept some of the pieces for his pleasure palace, while others were distributed to the royalty and elite in Europe. Today, more than three hundred years later, Meissen is still regarded among the finest porcelain in the world.
Published in honor of a remarkable gift to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, A Princely Pursuit: The Malcolm D. Gutter Collection of Early Meissen Porcelain traces, through key works of art, the incredible stories surrounding the production of European porcelain and the creation of the Meissen manufactory. This volume focuses on early Meissen pieces, including red stoneware and objects created under Johann Gregorius Höroldt’s direction, and it features more than thirty documented works from Augustus II’s royal collection.
Malcolm D. Gutter, an expert on early Meissen porcelain, formed his extraordinary collection over the course of more than four decades. This book chronicles his exemplary works through insightful art historical texts, detailed technical essays, delightful collector’s stories, and more than three hundred lavish illustrations of some of the most exquisite porcelain pieces known today.
Maria L. Santangelo is a curator of the Getty Family Collection and former associate arts and sculpture at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Malcolm D. Gutter was a professor of economics and decorative arts at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California, and the University of California Berkeley Extension. He is one of the world’s foremost collectors of early Meissen porcelain.
Sebastian Kuhn is the departmental director of European ceramics at Bonhams, London. He has published and lectured extensively on eighteenth-century porcelain.
Colleen O’Shea is the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in objects conservation at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.