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Meißner Porzellan Malerei

Europe's "white gold" comes from the Elbland

Böttger and the invention of porcelain

The ‘gold’ so prized by Augustus the Strong and originally from Japan or China was white, delicate, virtually translucent and painted with painstaking care. Painstaking enough, in fact, and from far enough away to be virtually unaffordable. Which is why, in 1701, Augustus set pharmacist’s apprentice and alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger the challenge of producing gold from base metals. Although his quest proved fruitless, the scholar Ehrenfried Walter von Tschirnhaus steered Böttger’s inventive urge towards ‘white gold’, spawning a novel and secretive process that was production-ready by 1709. The venue housing it had to accommodate both works and workforce but remain secure enough to stop anyone entering or leaving without permission. Albrechtsburg Castle in nearby Meissen ticked the box.

Successful: The Meissen Porcelain Manufactory

Albrechtsburg Castle soon became synonymous with porcelain, with over 700 workers employed on the castle hill. As mills toiled to grind, polish and crush the materials, earnings for the prince-elector soared. The historical walls began to groan under the strain, underlining the need for new premises. In 1863, construction of a new facility was completed in the Triebischtal quarter of the town, marking the MEISSEN® emergence as a signature brand of worldwide renown. Its porcelain with blue crossed swords became the tableware of choice for many of the mighty and wealthy and that remains the case to this day, as the MEISSEN® legend lives on.

Precise: A keen eye for detail

Aficionados of Meissen porcelain, keen to learn just how the distinctive shapes and decorative patterns come into being, will delight in the regular workshop tours on offer. Visitors get the chance to watch as master Meissen artisans steadily shape and assemble tiny components into exquisite pieces of unrivalled artistic beauty. And nothing is more riveting for onlookers than seeing just how the most intricate of patterns are applied to cups and plates with unrivalled precision. A timeless world of inimitable beauty and finest craftsmanship at the highest level.


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