VERY RARE LARGE MONUMENTAL KPM PORCELAIN PLAQUE “Virgin Mary Appearing to St. Bernard”
Otto Wustlich, 2nd half 19th century
After the painting by Pietro Pirugino,
very finely painted, incredibly detailed, depicting Virgin Mary standing in front of St. Bernard of Clairvaux,
deep in his studies, surrounded by four saints.
Signed O. Wustlich
Impressed KPM and scepter marks
Plaque dimensions – height 23 3/4 in. (60 cm), width 20 1/4 in. (51 cm)
Frame dimensions – height 31 in. (79 cm), width 27 1/2 in. (70 cm)
Porcelain plaque in good condition, a few very small factory imperfections due to firing process around the lower and upper center areas, barely noticeable. Frame is in good condition.
1. This is undoubtably one of the highest quality KPM porcelain plaques we have ever come across in all our years in the business. A truly gorgeous example of the KPM mastery of painting on porcelain.
2. Pietro Pirugino (1446-1523), “Virgin Mary Appearing to St. Bernard“, created around 1490-1494
The painting shows St Bernard of Clairvaux, deep in his studies, being interrupted by a fully corporeal vision of the Virgin Mary, who appears to him in the clear light of day. Four saints surround them. There is a seemingly effortless, perfect symmetry about the composition. The position of the Virgin and St. Bernard’s prie-dieu are both slightly off balance, but not enough to ruin the serene harmony of the picture. The faces of the various figures contribute to this quiet beauty, without showing much individualism or realism. Also, the colors are bright and radiant, but without being flashy.
3. Otto Wustlich (1819-1886) is listed as one of the most famous porcelain painters of the nineteenth century by Sean Shakrovski and Vera Rininberg in KPM Plaques: Gaining an Insight into the Art of Painting on Porcelain, p.39. According to Ilka Voarman in Die Kopie als Element fürstlicher Gemäldesammlungen im 19. Jahrhundert, pp. 71-72, King Ludwig I of Bavaria commissioned Wustlich to reproduce paintings in his royal collection at the Old Pinakothek in Munich, where the original painting after which this plaque is taken (circa 1490-94) still resides.
Item Nr. 1004 (KPM porcelain plaque “Virgin Mary Appearing to St. Bernard”)