On Tuesday 18 June, at 9pm BBC4 will be airing a very special documentary with some very special objects from the Wallace Collection.
Beautiful Thing: A Passion for Porcelain sees former Wallace Collection director and world expert on Sèvres, Dame Rosalind Savill, reveal some of the most spectacular decorative arts of eighteenth-century France. Dame Rosalind brings us up close to a personal choice of Sèvres masterpieces in the Wallace Collection, viewing them in intricate and intimate detail. She engages us with the beauty and brilliance in the designs, revelling in what is sometimes viewed today as unfashionably pretty or ostentatious. These objects represent the unbelievable skill of eighteenth-century French master craftsmen, as well as the desires and demands of an autocratic regime that was heading for revolution.
From decadent ice-cream coolers, to ingenious perfume burners, to intricate objects like a pot-pourri vase in the shape of a ship: discover the beauty of Sèvres in this special programme. Do come in to the Wallace Collection to see hundreds more pieces in our world-class collection of eighteenth-century French porcelain, and to learn even more about the fascinating stories behind these works of art, their creators, and their often scandalous royal patrons… Entrance to the Wallace Collection is free and open daily, 10am – 5pm, and with a range of excellent free guided tours available there are always plenty of occasions to discover these wonderful works of art yourself. Click here for more details on how to find us.
You can view the documentary live on BBC4 at 9pm on Tuesday 18 June 2013, or stream it online from BBC iPlayer upto a week after it airs, if you live in the UK. Click here to go to the BBC iPlayer link.