These wonderful porcelain plaques were created in c.1860 by the prestigious Konigliche Porzellan Manufaktur or KPM (German, founded in 1763). The plaques feature beautiful paintings based on works by the famous Seville-based Baroque artist, Bartolome Esteban Murillo (Spanish, 1618-1682).
One plaque is decorated after Murillo’s painting, ‘Young Boys Playing Dice’. It depicts three street urchins, two of whom sit on the ground and play dice on a stone slab, and the third stands and eats a hunk of bread. This boy turns his head and looks directly out at the viewer, while a dog at his feet gazes hungrily at the bread in his hand. A basket full of fruit and an empty water urn are positioned in the left foreground of the composition.
The second plaque faithfully reproduces Murillo’s ‘Boys Eating Fruit’ (also known as ‘Grape and Melon Eaters’). It portrays two barefooted boys, wearing old ragged clothes. One sits on the floor and eats a bunch of grapes, while the other perches on a short wooden bench and holds a slice of melon. He grasps a knife in his other hand and balances the rest of the melon on his knees. A wicker basket full of grapes is positioned to the left of the boy sitting on the floor.
While Murillo is chiefly remembered as a religious painter, he also created works with a Genre subject – that is, ones which focused on ordinary people and everyday life. His paintings of young beggars and street urchins are widely celebrated for their striking realism and dramatic use of chiaroscuro.
The plaques are displayed in rectangular giltwood frames. They feature stepped borders which are finely carved with fluting, acanthus leaves and egg-and-dart patterns. The plaques are stamped ‘KPM’.
Frames- Height 62cm, width 54cm, depth 8cm
Plaques- Height 40cm, width 32cm, depth 0.5cm