Very fine beau bleu Sèvres tasse litron et soucoupe painted by Charles Nicolas Dodin. The saucer has a landscape miniature in the well depicting an overturned basket of grapes with a grapevine-wrapped thyrsus through the handle in the foreground, and trees and mountains in the background. (The thyrsus is a composite symbol of the forest [pine cone] and the farm [fennel] associated with Dionysius.) The cylindrical cup is painted with a miniature portraying a reclining nymph who picks a cluster of grapes from a vine. The miniature, with the composition reversed, was copied from a print after a painting by Jean-Simon Berthélémy now in the collection of the Musée Municipal de Laon. Both pieces have elaborate gilded borders consisting of trelliswork shields, acanthus scrolls and floral garlands. [ Tiny scratch on saucer miniature. Slight wear to gilding in saucer well.] Dodin, who was the foremost painter of “miniatures” at Sèvres, was the subject of an important exhibition of his works at Versailles: Splendeur de la Peinture sur Porcelaine au XVIIIe Siècle Charles Nicolas Dodin et la Manufacture de Vincennes – Sèvres; May 15 – September 9, 2012. In the catalogue of the exhibition, several cups and saucers by Dodin were noted as having been painted in 1785. One listed under “Travaux Extraordinaires des Peintres, Année 1785: Aout 1785. 1 gobelet et soucoupe. Beau bleu Mignature” brought the large price of 252 livres.
Dated – “hh” – 1785 Painter’s mark – “k”- Dodin Gilder’s mark - Chauvaux