The Imperial and Royal Porcelain factory Vienna was founded in 1718 by Claudius Innocentius du Paquier. May 1718, Emperor Karl VI awarded du Paquier a special privilege for the exclusive right to produce porcelain in Austria. It was the second hard paste porcelain factory in Europe, after Meissen. Du Paquier sold the factory to the Habsburg court in 1744. The Austrian royalty owned and operated the factory from 1744 until it closed in 1864. At the time the factory closed it was put under museum administration. The royal factory was not the only company to have made porcelain products in Vienna. At one time or another there have been about 21 different factories or decorating studios in Vienna Austria.
This wonderful Royal Vienna style portrait plate, circa 1880-1890, portrays a classic scene taken from Greek mythology, entitled 'Jupiter & Calisto'. The hand painted scene takes place in a wooded meadow in shades hues of soft medium brown, green/brown and hints of gray, peach and blue. The individuals are adorned in teal, lavender, golden yellow and russet. Lovely facial features and delicate skin tones complete the portrait. The center scene is surrounded by a gold beaded band, brown with gold design ring, wide cobalt blue band decorated with gold scrolls and outer edge of brown with gold design. The plate is marked with the dark blue 'Beehive' mark, impressed characters '1 over 0', '3' and 'T'. The title 'Jupiter & Calisto' in red script. The heavy porcelain blank measures 9 3/8" across and is signed in gold on the front by the artist 'A Heine'. There are no cracks, chips or repairs; a few of the gold beads are partially or completely missing. Fabulous plate.
It was Jupiter (Zeus) who took the form of Diana (Artemis) so that he might evade his wife Juno’s detection, forcing himself upon Callisto while she was separated from Diana and the other nymphs. Her pregnant condition was discovered some months later while bathing with Diana and her fellow nymphs. Upon this, Diana was enraged and expelled Callisto from the group, and subsequently she gave birth to Arcas. Juno then took the opportunity to avenge her wounded pride and transformed the nymph into a bear. Sixteen years later Callisto, still a bear, encountered her son Arcas hunting in the forest. Just as Arcas was about to kill his own mother with his javelin, Jupiter averted the tragedy by placing mother and son amongst the stars as Ursa Major and Minor, respectively. Juno, enraged that her attempt at revenge had been frustrated, appealed to Oceanus that the two might never meet his waters, thus providing a poetic explanation for their circumpolar positions.