An historic landmark and bearer of French cultural heritage, the Royal Manufacture de Sèvres carries on a significant art and craftsmanship legacy since its inception in 1740. Widely considered one of the finest ceramicists in the world, the manufacturers continue to collaborate with international artists and designers while preserving and passing along the porcelain making mastery and time-honored techniques that were developed at Sévres and remain proprietary to this day.
The manufacture was founded in 1740 just outside of Paris. In 1756 cultural advisor at the Court of Versailles, historic patron of the Arts, and official mistress to the King of France, Madame de Pompadour convinced Louis XV to bring closer to Versailles the finest ceramicists of France. The Royal manufacture was built in Sèvres right next to the Court where the master-ceramicists still work today. The workshops then produced the porcelain and sculptural works for the King’s Court as well as international collectors. For over 250 years, France has preserved this institutional manufacturer in a manner befitting of a cultural establishment that carries-on a national heritage of savoir-faire.
Since 1740 Sèvres has built a significant portfolio of museum pieces and ceramic sculptures that belonged to international private and institutional collections. As a highly regarded ceramic workshop, the manufacturer has collaborated with some of the most established artists since the 18th century. Sèvres’ repertoire of collaborations include such luminaries such as Auguste Rodin in the 19th century, Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann in the 1920’s, Alexander Calder and Serge Poliakoff in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as 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.
In 2014, Sevres unveiled their latest collaboration with Dutch Design luminary Aldo Bakker. The latest collaboration was introduced to the United States at Les Ateliers Courbet.
Les Ateliers Courbet opens the gates of the manufacture to the United States presenting a rotating selection of works and the on-going access to the French workshops for private commissions and re-edition orders.
Pictures © Nicolas Héron for Sèvres-Cité de la céramique