Belle Epoque

Fish service of the floral Munich-style of art nouveau

In his first year of working for Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg, Hermann Gradl – painter, architect and sculptor – already produced the BELLE EPOQUE fish service. Presented at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris and awarded the "Grand Prix", it counts as one of the most successful examples of the floral Munich-style of art nouveau, to which its name also refers. The fish platter, sauce boat and potato bowl along with the 16 plates – later expanded into a service for 18 people – all possess various naturalistic fish motifs. The contours of the fish were at the time and still are printed using copper plates on silk paper. The contour print is then transferred to the plates and the details are subsequently worked out. The stylised water plants fuse the elegant shape with the design that harmoniously frames the porcelain fretwork. Five colour firings are needed to make the artistic glaze painting blossom.

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