The Bracquemond-Rousseau Table Service of 1866


Japoniste Ceramics and the Realignment of Medium Hierarchies in Nineteenth-Century French Art


in Journal of Japonisme
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Inspired by Japanese art and French eighteenth-century porcelain, the Rousseau-Bracquemond ceramic table service of 1866 blurred the line between the decorative and the fine arts. Exhibited at the 1867 World’s Fair in Paris, the service met with exceptional critical and commercial success. This paper focuses on the Rousseau-Bracquemond service to propose that cross-cultural encounters unsettled hierarchical relationships among media in nineteenth-century France. Through a visual and historiographical analysis of this case study, the paper offers a re-evaluation of the interrelationships among ceramics and modern painting. Challenging Eurocentric art historical narratives, the paper explores how the Rousseau-Bracquemond service connected Japonisme, historicism, and Republican thought. Politically charged and technically innovative, the service exemplified a new type of cross-media collaborations among a network of artists, dealers, critics, and collectors. At the intersection of ornament and realism, their radical work marked a major change in the relation between art and design.


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References
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  • 26

    Laurinda Dixon“Trade and Tradition: Japan and the Dutch Golden Age,” in The Orient Expressed: Japan’s Influence on Western Art 1854–1918 (Mississippi Museum of Art 2011) p. 91.

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Figures
  • View in gallery
    Félix Bracquemond (1833–1914). Oval plate: large langouste (spiny lobster). Manufacture of Creil et Montereau (1840–1955). Fine faïence. ADL4939. Jean-Gilles Berizzi. Musée Adrien Dubouché, Limoges, France. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY.

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    Félix Bracquemond (1833–1914) and Eugène Rousseau (1827–1891). Tin-glazed earthenware service comprising twenty-seven plates, six soup plates, two cake stands, salad bowl, sauce boat, large oval serving dish and large circular serving dish, an oval tureen and cover and a circular tureen and cover. Design created ca. 1866, manufactured ca. 1899–1902 and 1903–1913. Lot 79 of Sotheby’s sale “Chefs-d’œuvre Art Nouveau, Ancienne collection du Garden Museum, Japon” of February 16, 2013. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

  • View in gallery
    Vue générale de l’exposition universelle (Bird’s eye view of the World’s Fair). Published in: Trichon, Almanach illustré des merveilles de l’exposition universelle pour l’année 1868. Paris: Bureau 2, Place Saint Michel, 1868. John Hay Library, Brown University Library. Courtesy of Center for Digital Scholarship, Brown University Library.

  • View in gallery
    Detail. Wedgwood green featheredge pearlware charger, ca.1780. Former inventory of Dr. Randall Moir. Courtesy of Dr. Moir’s Shop ‘Docs Antiques’ On Ruby Lane – .

  • View in gallery
    James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836–1902). Young women looking at Japanese articles. 1869. Oil on canvas. Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio, USA. Gift of Henry M. Goodyear. M.D. Bridgeman Images.

  • View in gallery
    Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾北齋 (1760–1849). Two pages with motifs of fish and sea creatures. Published in: Denshin kaishu Hokusai manga 傳神開手 北齋漫畵. Nagoya: Eirakuya Tōshirō, Bunka 13–14 (1816- 1817). Permission from Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University.

  • View in gallery
    Ogata Kōrin 尾形光琳 (1658–1716). Yatsuhashi-zu byōbu 八橋図屏風 (Eight Bridges). After 1709. Pair of six-panel folding screens; ink and color on gilded paper. OASC (Open Access for Scholarly Content). Metropolitan Museum of Art. Purchase, Louisa Eldridge McBurney gift, 1953. .

  • View in gallery
    Engraved illustration of a folk ceramic plate from the collection of Champfleury. Published in: Champfleury (1821–1889). Histoire des Faïences Patriotiques sous la Révolution. Paris: E. Dentu, 1867. P. 28, figure no. 4. Work in the public domain. Courtesy Of Hathitrust – .

  • View in gallery
    Félix Bracquemond, François-Eugène Rousseau, Lebeuf Milliet & Cie (Montereau 1840- 1876), The Republican plate. 1868. Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris. Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris / Jean Tholance.

  • View in gallery
    Édouard Manet (1832–1883). La queue devant la boucherie (Line in front of the Butcher Shop). 1870–71. Etching on light blue laid paper, only state, from 1905 Strölin edition. OASC (Open Access for Scholarly Content). Metropolitan Museum of Art. Rogers Fund, 1921– .

  • View in gallery
    Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807 - 1891). Porcelain Cups. 19th century. Ukiyo-e woodblock-printed surimono; ink, color, and metallic pigment on paper. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of the Friends of Arthur B. Duel, 1933.4.936. Imaging department © President and Fellows of Harvard College.

  • View in gallery
    Laurent Bouvier (1840–1901). L’Art Céramique. 1868, oil on canvas. Achat de l’Etat et dépôt du FNAC à la Ville dès 1868. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Limoges. © Musée des Beaux-Arts de Limoges. Cliché/ Photo: F. Magnoux.

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    Laurent Bouvier’s painting L’Art Céramique at the Salon of 1868. « Album de photographies des œuvres achetées par l’Etat intitulé: ‘Ministère de la Maison de l’Empereur et des Beaux-Arts. Tableaux commandés ou acquis par le Service des Beaux-Arts. Salon de 1868.’» Permission from the Archives Nationales

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    Michel Aubert (1700–1757) after Antoine Watteau (1684–1721). « Idole de la Déesse Ki Mao dans le Royaume de Mang au pays des Laos. » Plate 263 from L’Œuvre d’Antoine Watteau Peintre du Roy, Recueil Jullienne, Figures Chinoises. 1731. Etching and engraving. © The Trustees of the British Museum. All Rights Reserved.

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    Shibata Zeshin 柴田是真 (1807–1891). Drawing for: Hana kurabe 花くらべ (Comparison of flowers). Private collection. Courtesy of Richard Kruml, Japaneseprints-London – .

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    Félix Bracquemond (1833–1914) and Eugène Rousseau (1827–1891). Tureen from the Rousseau service. 1866–67. Earthenware, transfer-printed and painted in enamels. Given by F.-E. Rousseau. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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