Large KPM plaque: 'The Power of Music,' after Louis Gallait

By KPM, Konigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (German, founded 1763)


This large and very fine KPM porcelain plaque renders with exquisite skill the beauty and poignancy of an important original by the artist Louis Gallait.


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Signed and marked for KPM, this very fine porcelain plaque takes for its subject The Power of Music, alternatively titled Music Hath Charms, Consolation, Solace, or simply Fiddler and a Gypsy Woman, an important painting by leading Belgian artist Louis Gallait of c.1850.

It depicts a young man playing the violin, or fiddle, before a rocky ledge, overlooking a mountains backdrop in the distance. A sleeping maiden, or gypsy woman, rests her hed in his lap while he plays, and a hat full of grapes and a tambourine scatter the foreground in front of them. The young man looks pensively down at his companion, softly playing his instrument in pizzicato so as not to disturb her rest. The powerful atmospheric feel of the backdrop contrasts with the idyllic and peaceful rustic stony outcrop on which they rest, accentuating the poignancy and intimacy of this moving composition.

Louis Gallait was an important Belgian artist of the nineteenth century, practically dictating public tastes in art in his home country for most of his lifetime. He revived history painting, and was an excellent portraitist, best known for works such as his depiction of the abdication of Charles V. The popularity of the sensitive work replicated here is evident from the existence of plaques such as this one by KPM. One original oil-on-canvas of this scene is in the Walters Art Musuem of Baltimore, while others are purportedly in the National Museum of Warsaw and the Hermitage, St Petersburg.

A very similar, slightly larger example, dated 1886, sold at Christie's New York in 2008, for $43,750. The present work is housed in a beautiful, carved giltwood frame. It is signed to the lower right and impressed with KPM marks to the reverse. 

Frame: height 53cm, width 48cm, depth 6cm
Plaque: height 40cm, width 35cm


Artist / Maker
By KPM, Konigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (German, founded 1763)
Country of Origin
Belgian, German
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Figurative Art, History Painting, Music / Musical, Romantic
Giltwood, Porcelain
Gold, Multi-coloured


53 cm / 20.9 inches
48 cm / 18.9 inches
6 cm / 2.4 inches


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