Factory: Real Fabrica de Buen Retiro (Spanish)
Culture: Spanish, Madrid (Buen Retiro)
Medium: Soft-paste porcelain
Dimensions: Height (with cover): 18 3/4 in. (47.6 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Luke Vincent Lockwood, 1942
Accession Number: 42.30.17a, b
The Buen Retiro factory was established in 1759 when Charles VII of Naples became Charles III of Spain. In that year, Charles disbanded the porcelain factory at Capodimonte in Naples and moved the enterprise, with workers and raw materials, to the palace of Buen Retiro outside Madrid. The new factory continued to use the Capodimonte mark of a fleur-de-lis for its products.
The early wares and figures made at Buen Retiro are often difficult to distinguish from objects made at Capodimonte, but the fully Neoclassical character of these vases marks them as Buen Retiro, as the Capodimonte factory was closed before the Neoclassical style took root. The form of the vase is based on an antique model, and the oval medallions on one side are painted with figures from classical antiquity. Further classicizing details include the stylized molded water leaves located above the stem, and the painted garlands that frame the medallions.