Figures from the Gardner and Popov Factories

Gardner Factory figure of a lady with a basket (c.1850); Popov Factory figure of a mushroom vendor (c.1850); Gardner Factory figure of a boot vendor (c.1830).

The Gardner Porcelain Factory was established by Francis Gardner in 1766 in Verbilky, near Moscow. The sense of national pride aroused by the French invasion of Russia, known in Russia as The Patriotic War of 1812, affected the themes and subjects explored in porcelain design. The Imperial Porcelain Factory and Gardner Factory were among those that began to produce idealised representations of Russian people. The Gardner Porcelain Factory copied designs for a series of Russian street vendors and artisans from coloured illustrations by Zentulov, published in the journal The Magic Lantern (1817-1818). Writing on such figures, Richard Hare observed that from the early 19th century those of the Gardner factory had begun to break free of French and German models to evolve in a distinctly Russian style and saw in this a growing sense of confidence among Russian porcelain modellers and painters.

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