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By KPM, Konigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (German, founded 1763)
Created by the prestigious KPM, the plaques feature paintings of ‘Boys Eating Fruit’ and ‘Young Boys Playing Dice’ after the artist Bartolome Esteban Murillo.
The plaques feature copies of paintings by the famous 17th-Century Baroque artist, Bartolome Esteban Murillo (Spanish, 1618-1682). One plaque depicts ‘Boys Eating Fruit’ (also known as ‘Grape and Melon Eaters’) and the other shows ‘Young Boys Playing Dice’. The plaques were created by the Konigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (KPM or the Royal Porcelain Manufactory in Berlin) which was a leading producer of hard-paste porcelain in the late 18th and 19th Centuries. The plaques are stamped 'KPM'.
‘Boys Eating Fruit’ depicts two boys sitting together, one directly on the pavement and the other on a wooden bench. The boys are dressed in grubby and ragged, ill-fitting clothes and they are bare-footed, implying that they are street urchins. One tilts back his head and opens his mouth to eat a bunch of grapes, while the other watches him and eats a slice of melon. A basket of grapes is placed on the ground nearby.
‘Young Boys Playing Dice’ portrays three boys, two sitting on a stone slab playing dice and one standing nearby. The standing boy eats a piece of bread and turns his head to look directly out at the viewer. A dog sits at his feet and gazes hungrily at the bread in the boy’s hand. A basket of fruits and an empty vase occupy the left foreground of the composition. As with ‘Boys Eating Fruit’, these boys appear to be homeless. They wear old, worn clothes and the boy who stands is barefooted. While chiefly a religious painter, Murillo also painted scenes of everyday life, known as Genre subjects. The style of these paintings is one of realism and dramatic tenebrism.
These two plaques are displayed in rectangular giltwood frames which are beautifully carved with fluting, acanthus leaves and egg-and-dart borders.
Frames: Height 62cm, width 54cm, depth 8cm
Plaques: Height 40cm, width 32cm, depth 0.5cm
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