Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze

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Luxury and Elegance

French porcelain at court and the Ginori manufactory (1800-1830)

03-19-2013 | 06-23-2013
  1. To mark the 40th anniversary of the inauguration of the Museo delle Porcellane in Palazzo Pitti, the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze and the Associazione Amici di Doccia have organised an exhibition designed to highlight both the important collection in the Palazzo Pitti museum and the Doccia Manufactory's output during the Napoleonic occupation and the restoration of the House of Lorraine (1800-1830).

The changes that the advent of Napoleon's empire brought to the governance of Tuscany were reflected in the arts as early as under the Kingdom of Etruria (1801-1807) with Louise de Bourbon Parma, but they reached a crescendo under Elisa Baciocchi. Napoleon's sister, initially princess of Lucca and Piombino (1805-1809) and later grand duchess of Tuscany (1809-1814), promoted a renewal of interest in the arts which had been lacking for some time. Her patronage not only brought sculptors, painters and musicians flocking to Florence, it also fostered the artisan industries of Tuscany by encouraging the production of silk, furniture and porcelain.

The Doccia Manufactory played an important role in this newly vibrant artistic climate, evincing major French influence in both its formal and its decorative aspects.
In particular, under the enlightened guidance of Carlo Leopoldo Ginori Lisci (1792-1838), the manufactory played a role in the significantly innovative technical and stylistic trends coming from France, creating a style of decoration which was to remain fashionable throughout the 1820s.

The French Empire style continued to wield its influence even after the return to Florence of Ferdinand III of Habsburg-Lorraine who, having returned from his exile in Würzburg, supplemented the grand ducal collections with porcelain from Sèvres, a gift from Napoleon Bonaparte.
The arrival of these important porcelain gifts had a strong impact on the artistic development of the Ginori Manufactory which, in the early years of the first restoration of the House of Lorraine, not only copied some of the models but perfected its own production thanks to an intense exchange with French manufacturers, especially with Sèvres under the direction of Alexandre Brongniart.
The input from foreign artists, including Jean David, Joseph de Germain and Abraham Constantin who were extremely skilled in reproducing the old masters in Florence's galleries on porcelain, and who were charged with training the manufactory's young painters such as Giuseppe Baldassini and Giovanni Fanciullacci, led to a further improvement in the quality of the manufactory's output.
A study of the documents from the archives of the Court of Lorraine, from the Museo di Doccia and from the Ginori Lisci archives will enable the visitor to explore the Ginori Manufactory's production and sales in the first thirty years of the 19th century, thus shedding new light on both the patrons and the artists active in the manufactory.
In particular, in conjunction with the Musée Nationale de Céramique de Sèvres, the exhibition explores the work of Geneva-born painter Abraham Constantin, who worked in Sèvres but was sent to Florence to copy the most famous pictures in the Florentine galliers on porcelain. A major collection of Abraham Constantin's work was purchased by Carlo Alberto di Savoia Carignano and is now in the Galleria Sabauda in Turin.
The exhibition comprises some one hundred and twenty works, mostly from the collections in Palazzo Pitti and from the Doccia Manufactory's Museo Richard-Ginori, but also from the leading Italian and French museums devoted to the art of porcelain and from several private collections.


Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali
Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Toscana
Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo
Museale della città di Firenze
Museo degli Argenti
Firenze Musei
Associazione Amici di Doccia

Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze


Andreina d'Agliano

Project design

Mauro Linari

Curated by

Andreina d’Agliano
with Livia Frescobaldi Malenchini

Exhibition Management

Maria Sframeli


Segreteria scientifica: Riccardo Gennaioli
Segreteria organizzativa: Ilaria Bartocci

Press office

Opera laboratori Fiorentini – Civita Group

Ticket prices

Full Price: € 10,00
Reduced: € 5,00


The Education Department is offering the visitors
a free opportunity to know the art of making porcelain.
The meetings are:
Every Saturday morning from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
until June 15, 2013
at the Porcelain Museum
(entrance from the Boboli Garden)