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Apollo in his Chariot, between 1748 and 1750

  • Doccia Porcelain Factory, Italian
  • Massimiliano Soldani, Italian, 1656-1740

Hard paste porcelain

  • Including base: 23 5/8 × 13 1/2 × 8 1/4 inches (60 × 34.3 × 21 cm)

Founders Society Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund


On View

  • European: Grand Tour of Italy-Florence
  • European: Grand Tour of Italy-Florence
  • European: Grand Tour of Italy-Florence


European Sculpture and Dec Arts

  • Peace
  • Putti
  • Wars
  • Casting
  • Water
  • Hard paste porcelain
  • Trophies (prizes)
  • Vase
  • Helmets
  • Wreaths
  • Chariot
  • Doccia

This unique monumental vase was made for Marchese Carlo Ginori at his villa in Doccia outside Florence; it has no practical function other than to convey the factory's artistic and technical virtuosity. Using Florentine sculptors' models in wax and terracotta originally intended for bronzes, the experimental Doccia factory produced ambitious groups on a large scale in an attempt to rival German Meissen porcelain. The vase represents Apollo driving his golden chariot across the sky at sunset. On the reverse, Galatea, the sea nymph, rides her dolphin on the waves while a Triton awards her a laurel wreath.

Prince Umberto of Savoy, King of Italy, Lisbon; Christie's 2 October, 1969 Sale, Geneva, Switzerland; purchased by Leonardo Lapicciarella, Florence; purchased from Armin B. Allen (dealer), London and New York.

Highly Important Ormolu Mounted Porcelain Meissen, Capodimonte, French, German And Italian Porcelain. Sales cat., Christie, Manson & Woods, Geneva, October 2, 1969, lot 87. Gli Ultimi Medici, Il Tardo Barocco A Firenze, 1670-1743. Exh. cat., Palazzo Pitti. Florence, 1974, p. 128, no. 84. Darr, A.P. The Figure Revisited: Early Doccia Porcelain Sculptures in Detroit and its Development in 18th - Century Italy. London, 1994, pp. 14-15, fig. 14. Darr, A.P. “Innovations during the twilight of Florence: eighteenth century sculpture in Doccia porcelain.” In Francesco Robba and the Venitian Sculpture of the Eighteenth Century, ed. J. Hofler. Ljubljana, 2000, pp. 101-102, 105, figs. 16, 17. Darr, A. and T. Albainy, "Acquisitions of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1988 – 1999." The Burlington Magazine 142 (June 2000): 409, no. XIII (color ill.). Darr, A. P., P. Barnet and A. Bostrom, et. al. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Detroit Institute of Arts, vol II. London, 2002, cat. 154. Winter, John. Le Statue del Marchese Ginori. Florence, 2003, fig. 24, p. 27. Winter, John. "Doccia Porcelain at Ickworth." Amici di Doccia Quaderni, no. 2 (2008): 18-19, fig. 6. Darr, Alan Phipps. "The Doccia Porcelain Sculpture Collection in the Detroit Institute of Arts." Amici di Doccia, Quaderni, no. 8 (2014-2015): 32–84, pp. 36–39 (ill.).

Doccia Porcelain Factory; after a model by Massimiliano Soldani, Apollo in his Chariot, between 1748 and 1750, hard paste porcelain. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund, 1990.245.