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Sèvres Extraordinaire! Sculpture from 1740 until Today


Tamara Préaud

A comprehensive, in-depth examination of nearly three centuries of sculptural production from France’s famous Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory. Sèvres Extraordinaire! brings to light the production of sculpture at Sèvres over the 280 years of the institution’s existence—from the first attempts at soft-paste porcelain to the revolutionary decision to skip the glaze application, producing a matte white evocative of marble. Other new techniques followed, emulating classic sculptural materials such as bronze and gold. These processes set Sèvres apart and ensured its long-standing success with the medium. This book offers an overview of the artists, artisans, and patrons who converged over the years at Sèvres, and whose ideas represent a microcosm of larger developments in art and culture. Considering the term “sculpture” in its broadest sense, it features vases, dining-table centerpieces, clocks, inkstands, and rare cups and saucers alongside objects such as busts, figures, and medallions. The history is told through material, much of which has never been illustrated, that includes drawings, plaster molds, and terracotta models housed in the archives of the Sèvres Manufactory and in the Musées nationaux, as well as finished sculptures designed by artists including Étienne Maurice Falconet (1716–1791), François Boucher (1703–1770), Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824–1887), Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010), and Giuseppe Penone (b. 1947).

Tamara Préaud was formerly archivist at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres

The exhibition Sèvres Extraordinaire! Sculpture from 1740 until Today is on view at Bard Graduate Center Gallery from September 21, 2024 to January 5, 2025. 


Table of Contents

Bard Graduate Center Director's Foreword
Susan Weber

Sèvres Director's Foreword
René Jacques Mayer

Editor's Note
Charlotte Vignon

Tamara Préaud


French Sculpture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Historical Context and Stylistic References
Guilhem Scherf

Sculpture in France from the Belle Époque to Pop Art
Florence Rionnet

Part I: General Considerations

1. Materials and Production
Tamara Préaud and Soazig Guilmin

2. Salaries and Prices
Tamara Préaud

3. Imitations, Copies, Overmoldings, and Marks
Tamara Préaud

Part II: History of Sculpture at Sèvres

4. The Eighteenth Century
Tamara Préaud

5. The Directorship of Alexandre Brongniart
Tamara Préaud

6. The Second Half of the Nineteenth Century, 1848-91
Tamara Préaud

7. The Twentieth Century
Tamara Préaud

8. Two decades of Contemporary Art at Sèvres, 2000-20
Judith Cernogora

9. Sales and Deliveries after 1941
Soazig Guilmin

Checklist of the Exhibition




Photographic Credits


4.00 LBS
Expected release date is 1st Oct 2024

Other Details


Page count
570| illustrated throughout

Publication date
September 2024

Hardcover: paper over board