research and learning

The influence of Jean-Baptiste Pillement’s art on ceramics

Zeller, Loren

Pillement imageThis article was recently published in the English Ceramic Circle's (ECC) Transactions, Volume 31, 2020 and it is made available here with the kind permission of the ECC.

While much has been written about Jean-Baptiste Pillement’s art and its role in the decorative arts in general, little attention has been given to the artist’s profound influence on ceramic design. The one exception is Marie Gordon-Smith who, in her monograph titled Pillement, pointed to the international importance of the artist’s work in the field of ceramics. My initial research was focused on the identification of examples of Pillement’s chinoiseries appearing on ceramics. The result was the discovery of an impressive number of designs that can be confidently attributed to the artist. To some degree, that was the easier task, thanks to the many resources available today through the Internet and in many digital collections now made available free-of-charge for research and non-profit publications. The more challenging analysis that followed was to gain an understanding of why his designs were so popular with pottery and porcelain factories and why they generated consumer interest throughout Europe and as far east as Imperial Russia. This research led me to the observations and conclusions that are put forth in this paper. 

zeller_ecc_pillement_article_august2021.pdf6.09 MB