A bearer of the French cultural heritage, the porcelain manufacture of Sèvres has been carrying forward its legacy or artistry and craftsmanship for over three centuries now. Widely considered one of the finest ceramicists in the world, Sèvres continues to collaborate with international artists and designers, using the proprietary techniques developed by their predecessors at the manufacture.
Sèvres was founded in 1740 just outside of Paris, and operated there until, in 1756, Madame de Pompadour – legendary patron of the arts, and official mistress to the King of France – convinced Louis XV to bring the finest ceramicists of France closer to Versailles. The historic landmark of the Royal Porcelain Manufacture was built in Sèvres right next to the Court, where the master-ceramicists still work today. Now catering to an international clientele, the workshops have long produced the porcelain and sculptural works for the King’s Court.
Since its inception, Sèvres has built a significant portfolio of museum pieces and ceramic sculptures acquired by international private and institutional collections, and has been involved since the outset in collaborations with such luminaries such as Auguste Rodin, Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann in the 1920’s, Alexander Calder and Serge Poliakoff in the 1950s and 1960s, and Louise Bourgeois, Pierre Alechinsky, Zao Wou-ki, and Fabrice Hyber. Collaborations with Modern and Contemporary artists include Yayoi Kusama, Etorre Sottsass, Bertrand Lavier, Pierre Soulages, José Levy, Christian Biecher, Pierre Charpin, Michele De Lucchi, Barthélémy Toguo, and Andrea Branzi.
Since 2014, Sevres has unveiled several of their recent artistic collaborations at Les Ateliers Courbet, including the collections of Dutch Design luminaries Aldo Bakker, and Scholten & Baijings. Les Ateliers Courbet opens the gates of the manufacture to the United States, presenting a rotating selection of works and ongoing access to the French workshops for private commissions and re-edition orders.
Pictures © Nicolas Héron for Sèvres-Cité de la céramique