Porcelain painting.

The Living age 58, 21.6.1845

Mrs. M'Ian has given a report to the Council of the Government School of Design, of a journey undertaken by her to Paris, and to the Staffordshire Potteries, during which she inspected the processes of porcelain painting at the different manufactories; the result of her comparison of the artists of the two countries is by no means unfavorable to English ability.

At Messrs. Copeland's manufactory, in Staffordshire, more especially, she saw specimens of flower painting in porcelain, equal to the best productions at Sèvres, where that branch is most admirably executed. This, she remarks, implies, in the English artist, a much greater degree of merit, because he has been wholly unassisted; development of talent being left to individual energy and perseverance; whilst in France he has had the advantage of systematic and special training for the employment, and the emulating patronage of a royal manufactory, munificently supported by the government.

The colors used by the French, she observes, are superior to those of the English; for flesh tints, they have reds and yellows, that will mix and burn together, which with the colors used in our potteries, is chemically impossible; the media made use of by the French are also superior. In neither country is there any attempt at originality in design, the artistical labor consisting in a continual process of copying. Mrs. M'Ian thinks that if, in the Female School at Somerset House, a class was formed for studying the art of painting in a superior manner, the more skilful pupils would find employment at their own homes, as the manufacturers would be happy to transmit to them work for execution.

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