Dallying couple (Scaramouche and Columbine)

Johann Joachim Kändler1740 - 1748

Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest
Budapest, Hungary

The model maker Johann Joachim Kandler (1706–1775) started work in Meissen in 1731. During his long career he made several thousand models for the factory and created a new style in porcelain sculpture. His early works were Baroque figures with powerful, expressive gestures. In the mid-1740s, he developed the classic style of porcelain art, drawing on a wide range of subjects for his sculptures. The most popular were statue pairs, figures of gallants and ladies in splendid clothes, dressed for various court diversions and entertainments, in hunting clothes, dance costumes or – as in the fashionable role play – peasants’ attire. For many of his works, he chose well-known figures from French opera or love scenes from Italian Commedia dell’Arte. Columbina and Scaramouche are two servant figures from Italian folk tales. This piece captures the flirtation of the plump, alluring “little dove” Columbina and the crafty servant Scaramouche. The lovers are turning towards each other, Scaramouche gently, teasingly placing his arm on Columbina’s shoulder. The girl holds in her hand a cage containing a bird, a reference – in the popular symbology of the time – to the girl’s virginity, the door of the cage being closed. In several of the museum’s publications, the sculpture bore the name Columbina and Braghella. Braghella and Scaramouche are manifestations of the same character – the lazy, constantly hungry, and very crafty servant, always getting the better of his master – but Braghella was usually portrayed in white clothes and Scaramouche in black.

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  • Title: Dallying couple (Scaramouche and Columbine)
  • Date Created: 1740 - 1748
  • Location Created: Meissen, Germany
  • Provenance: Purchased from Rudolf Lepke, an art dealer in Berlin in 1911. Formerly in the collection of Gusztáv Gerhardt.
  • Place Part Of: Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: w8 x h17.5 x d6.5 cm (Complete)
  • Model-maker: Johann Joachim Kändler
  • Marking: Marked with a blue sword under glaze and an impressed "45".
  • Type: Porcelain object
  • Rights: Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, 2013, http://collections.imm.hu/terms-and-conditions
  • External Link: http://collections.imm.hu/gyujtemeny/szoborcsoport-columbina-es-scaramouche/1552
  • Medium: Porcelain with polychrome painting above glaze.