FALCONET, Étienne-Maurice
(b. 1716, Paris, d. 1791, Paris)

The Oracle

Biscuit, height 14 cm
Musée National de Céramique, Sèvres

Ceramics underwent unprecedented development in the mid eighteenth century in France, both as a complement to table plate and as ornamentation for interiors. Fine pieces of porcelain from China was everywhere. To reduce imports, a royal porcelain factory was founded in 1753 on the bank of the Seine at Sèvres. Etienne Falconet headed the Sèvres design studio until 1766. Figurines made of biscuit, or unglazed porcelain, were enormously popular and retained the twisting profile and swirl typical of rococo art.