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Half a day at Sevres






A possible daytrip, or even half a day trip would be interesting to visit the MUSEE DE LA CERAMIQUE and the Sevres porcelain in SEVRES.
It's only a subway ride, the river's breadth away, set in a wooded park along the SeineMétro: Pont de Sèvres. Bus: 169 -171 -179, stop at Sèvres-Manufacture.

Brongniart

It's already from the beginning of the 19th century that Sevres has been famous for its porcelain. It was set up by Alexandre Brongniart, then director of the Manufacture de Porcelaine de Sevres. At the foot of a hill that rises 11.5 km to the Terrace de Meudon.
Both chateau and terrace were built in the 17th century. The Vincennes (later Sèvres) factory was established in 1738 at the château de Vincennes. New buildings were added in 1876 and the entire collection could house inside from that moment.
Alexandre Brongniart wanted to display all types of ceramics from every country and from every historical period in his museum. 50,000 objects are displayed on three levels of which:
European glazed pottery (Middle Ages to the 18th century), Islamic pottery, Hispano-Moorish faience, majolica ware from the Italian Renaissance and from 16th to 18th-century Europe, Japanese ceramics. You will learn everything related to the blue porcelain that made Sevres a world famous name. 
Among the masterpieces displayed in the museum is a set of Turkish ceramics made in Iznik during the reigns of Suliman the Magnificent and his successors. Saint Georges slaying the dragon, a panoramic overview of production in Faenza, Florence, Siena and Venice during the Renaissance; a reconstitution of an apothecary's shop, masterpieces made in all the major European centres

(Netherlands, Italy, Spain etc.), and an incomparable collection of French faience (Nevers, Rouen, Moustiers, Strasbourg, Marseilles etc.). A mini chateau in unglazed porcelain, style Louis II of Bavaria on the first floor isn't ugly either!
The art of porcelain is very well illustrated here with examples from the Far East (China and Japan); Meissen in Saxony; Italy (outstanding set of Medici porcelain) and, more particularly, French soft-paste porcelain (Saint-Cloud, Mennecy, Chantilly, Vincennes and Sevres) and hard-paste porcelain (Sevres and Paris).
Contemporary ceramics, a collection that is constantly being extended as a result of the museum's purchasing policy, are displayed in the foyer and on the second floor.
The city of Sevres is quiet, very quiet, let's admit it, DULL. It's big luck it has this museum.
The only other interesting feature is that Balzac bought a villa in Sevres (1837), LES JARDIES, where he tried to grow pineapples in the garden. He left the house in 1840. Gambetta fell in love with this wine grower's house, after Balzac's departure. He lived there until his death on 31 December 1882. 
Souvenirs and objects reminding the eminent role of the politician as well as the dreams of Balzac are evoked here. 


Bibliography

"The Sevres Porcelain Manufactory, Alexandre Brongniart and the Triumph of Art and Industry from 1800-1847", "Sevres Porcelain : Vincennes and Sevres 1740-1800", by Svend Eriksen and Geoffrey De Bellaigue, "Soft Porcelain of Sevres" by Edouard Garnier