Legendary Lladró

By Louise Irvine

Lladró’s dream to light up the world with porcelain has come true as can be seen in their innovative lighting designs and their traditional figurative sculptures. WMODA is proud to present many of Lladro’s most spectacular limited-edition creations. As well as their distinctive glazed porcelain sculptures in pastel hues, the museum also displays less familiar Gres stoneware masterpieces from the High Porcelain collection inspired by myths and legends of the world.

The Great Dragons

A pair of Lladro’s Great Dragons guard the entrance to the Fantastique exhibition. The green dragon at WMODA is a unique colorway of the High Porcelain sculpture created by Francisco Polope in 2008. The blue dragon was issued in a limited edition of 150. Hundreds of scales on the bodies of the dragons are hand-painted in brilliant enamels with a combination of gloss and satin finishes. Golden highlights complete the design. In Chinese culture, dragons are powerful and benevolent symbols unlike the aggressive fire-breathing dragons of Western mythology. They control water, rainfall, typhoons, and floods and represent prosperity and good luck.

The Kiss

In our Golden newsletter, we are highlighting The Kiss, inspired by the entwined lovers of Austrian artist, Gustav Klimt. The Kiss was painted between 1907 and 1908 and it represents the highpoint of Klimt’s ‘Golden Period’ when he applied layers of gold leaf to his oil paintings. It is considered a masterpiece of Viennese Art Nouveau. Antonio Ramos of Lladró first interpreted the painting in 2012 to mark the 150th anniversary of Klimt’s birth. It has been made in two different sizes and also in different colors, including an exuberant golden luster.

Winged Beauty

The winged goddess of ancient Egypt and the mythology of the peacock have inspired Francisco Polope to create this spectacular representation of femininity and the exaltation of life. Isis was the goddess of magic, fertility, death, and rebirth. As the daughter of the sky goddess and Queen of the Heavens, she is often portrayed with the outstretched wings of a bird. The peacock epitomizes beauty and was the sacred bird of Hera, Queen of the Gods, in ancient Greece. The peacock’s spectacular display of iridescent plumage was a powerful symbol and inspiration in ceramic art during the Art Nouveau era. Lladró’s Winged Beauty was decorated with a color palette of brilliant enamels in peacock hues, highlighted in golden luster in 2012.

Arion on a Seahorse

In Classical mythology, Arion was a brilliant lyre player who won a musical competition in Sicily. On his voyage home with rich prizes, avaricious sailors captured him and gave him the choice of suicide or being thrown into the sea to perish. He asked for permission to sing a last song to win time and his music attracted a number of dolphins around the ship. At the end of the song, Arion threw himself into the sea rather than be killed but one of the dolphins saved his life and carried him to safety. In Lladro’s brilliant High Porcelain sculpture, sculpted by Franciso Polope in 2010, Arion is shown playing his lyre and riding the waves on a Hippocampus or seahorse.

Bacchante on a Panther

The allure of this beautiful woman is enhanced by the ferocity of her feline companion in Lladró’s spectacular sculpture by Francisco Polope. Bacchantes were followers of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, music, and dance. They derive from the maenads of Greek mythology, which literally translates as raving ones because of their ecstatic and intoxicated dancing frenzy. Bacchus is often portrayed with a leopard, once known as a pard, a fantastic beast that combined the fearsome traits of several big cats. Bacchante on a Panther was inspired by the painting of the same name by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, the distinguished French 19th-century artist. The sculpture was sumptuously decorated in enamels and gold for Lladró’s High Porcelain collection in 2011.

The High Porcelain collection represents the highest level of excellence and virtuosity of the Lladró artists and production of these spectacular pieces is extremely limited.

Read about other High Porcelain pieces on display at WMODA.

The Great Dragon

A Giggle of Clowns

Cinderella’s Arrival