The Nymphenburg manufactory in Bavaria is one of the oldest porcelain factories in Europe. It opened in 1747 in Munich and continues to work today. A characteristic feature of the Nymphenburg manufactory is the still preserved hand-made production of dishes, vases and figurines.
Another secret of her success is a bright and rich palette of colors of her own making. Masters apply them manually in an underglaze way. In the laboratory, factories are able to create 50 thousand combinations of pigments, thanks to which painted products turn into exquisite works of art.
History of Nymphenburg manufactory in the 18th and 19th centuries
The Nymphenburg manufactory began work with the support of the royal house of Wittelsbach. Elector of Bavaria Maximilian III contributed to the opening of new industries to strengthen the economy.
The factory with molding shops and art workshops was founded on November 11, 1747. It took several more years to fine-tune production processes and prepare the first models, because the owners from the very beginning were aimed at creating porcelain of the highest quality. For this, professional sculptors and artists were involved in cooperation.
From 1756, dyed porcelain began to be produced on a permanent basis, and the enterprise soon became commercially successful. Bustelli was replaced a few years later by another famous sculptor, Dominikus Aulicheck, who created about a hundred models of figurines. He was replaced by Johann Peter Melchior. By the end of the 18th century, King Ludwig I of Bavaria became an important customer for the factory.
By the middle of the 19th century, times of prosperity were replaced by a deep economic crisis. The manufactory was privatized, and was forced to switch to technical and medical porcelain instead of art. Gradually, the dishes also returned to the assortment: they were ordered by monasteries, hotels, hospitals and military units.
Niefenburg manufactory in the 20th century and today
At the beginning of the 20th century, the merchant Albert Bäuml leased the production, hoping to revive the German porcelain art of the 18th century. He collects a collection of antiques, starting with Bustelli figurines, and launches their re-release.
The entrepreneur also invited new artists who created elegant Art Nouveau dishes. The figures of animals created during this period by the masters Theodor Körner and Willy Zügel are highly valued. The customers of the Nymphenburg manufactory are aristocrats, embassies, churches and palaces from different countries.
During the Second World War, the factory was used for military purposes and became the target of bombings. It was destroyed, but the most valuable models, forms and samples of ancient porcelain survived in the cellars. After the war, the Beuml family resumes production. The factory is currently owned by Prince Luitpold of Bavaria. As in the old days, the manufactory invites well-known designers from Europe and America to cooperate.
Here are a few artists who worked in Nymphenburg in the 21st century:
- Konstantin Grcic;
- Hella Jongerius (Hella Jongerius);
- Kiki Smith;
- Joep van Lieshout;
- Olaf Nicolai;
- Carsten Heller.