RARE PAIR of Atelier Le Tallec apothecary jars handpainted in grisaille with mythological scenes by artist AG, 12". Camille Le Tallec used pharmacy pots (pots à pharmacie) to store paint pigments in his renowned porcelain decorating studios in Paris. This magnificent set was made in the latter half of 1957 (date code HH) in his first studio at 13 Villa Faucheur, Paris, XXᵉ. All eight sides of each jar are meticulously hand painted with continuous scenes in the pattern called 'Grisé à la Manière de Boucher'. This decor contrasts with a yellow ground on lid and base, richly adorned with 'Attributs de Musique' gilding. Each jar measures 12" to top of finial; base 4.75"W. Fine condition with very minor wear to gilding where lids sit in jars.
The FRENCH ATELIER is notable for its loyalty to the group rather than the individual. The studio's team of artists and technicians subscribe to the code of the Métiers d'Art and are identified only by their initials. Atelier Le Tallec's painters were all female and served long apprenticeships in order to develop the same 'hand' and consistency. The initials 'AG' appear on some of the studio's most sophisticated pieces, dating back to apothecary jars from the 1930s in Le Tallec's private collection and including superlative vases depicting the battles of Napoleon and the Montgolfière balloons. (These pieces are illustrated in the book cited below.)
'GRISAILLE' is a method of painting on porcelain in grey monochrome that dates to the 1700s. Camille Le Tallec had several examples in his collection made by Porcelaine de Paris. Very few Le Tallec pieces were decorated in grisaille as this was one of the most time-consuming processes. AG appears to have been a specialist in this method and examples are highly prized.
ATELIER LE TALLEC is renowned for its classic porcelain designs, its extraordinary quality and the talents of its painters. Modern technology cannot match the artistry of the human hand. By continuing a 350-year tradition in France for creating exquisite hand painted porcelain, Le Tallec has become the foremost decorating studio in the world. In 1930 Camille Le Tallec founded his first Paris studio in the direct tradition of the Manufacture de Sèvres, using only the highest quality porcelain blanks from Limoges. At the same time he began collecting examples from the great makers: Vienna, Saxe, Tournai, Strasbourg, Marseille, Paris, Chantilly, Mennecy, Vincennes and especially Sèvres. These he used as inspiration and as teaching tools, saying, "It was when I started getting acquainted with 18th century art that I became a modern ceramist." His collection was sold in 1990, at the end of his life, and pieces were eagerly purchased by the world's great museums. Camille Le Tallec's long artistic collaboration with designer John Loring resulted in Tiffany & Co.'s purchase of the studio in 1991. Atelier le Tallec remains a Tiffany subsidiary while retaining its own identity in Paris.
RESOURCE: 'Atelier Le Tallec Hand Painted LIMOGES PORCELAIN For Connoisseurs, Royalty, and Tiffany & Co.' by Keith and Thomas Waterbrook-Clyde, Schiffer 2003.
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