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HF Vol 21 artist Katsuyo Aoki is perhaps best known for her intricate, pure white porcelain skulls, covered here. Her latest sculptures are illustrated with colorful designs, some of which are now on display in “The Colors of Globalization” at Bernardaud Foundation in Paris. It was Victorian England that kicked off the trade of blue and white porcelain originally. Aoki’s palette draws upon this time period, which dates back to 18th century designs that imitated Chinese porcelain.

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That Porcelain Feeling

Once owned by Louis XIV, this table was inspired by Asian porcelain. It was created at the same time as the Trianon de Porcelaine, the king’s retreat on the outskirts of Versailles. This delicate structure was adorned with blue and white tin-glazed earthenware tiles that also evoked the beauty of porcelain. (The building deteriorated rapidly and was demolished by 1687.)

The king’s table features blue-painted horn veneers in the shape of vegetal motifs and baroque strapwork set on a white ivory ground, following this “porcelain” aesthetic. An ebony border frames the table top, and the painted horn imitates lapis lazuli.

A Glimpse into the Sun King’s Private World