Author: Terry Goldman

Tureen (a) of bulging and lobed oval form with two scrolling loop handles at either side and four scrolled feet; the white body with pink ground decorated at front and back with large central cartouches showing the artist as Madame de Pompadour in low-cut bodice and wig of silvery curls, with landscape in background; the pink surface embellished with platinum scrollwork and floral sprays, the flower buds rendered as fish; the articulated surfaces of the white handles and feet also picked out with platinum. Interior of bowl white, the floor decorated with scene of fish lying among ropes of pearls, all resting on soft folds of blue fabric. The domed and lobed cover (b), with pink ground decorated with platinum scrollwork and floral sprays as on tureen, and having central knob in the form of large platinum-colored flower buds with white and platinum leaves. The platter (c) of roughly oval shape having a white rectangular well, and wide everted rim, its two scrolled ends forming handles, and decorated with images of the artist as Madame de Pompadour; the articulated surface with pink ground, picked out with platinum scrollwork and floral sprays as on tureen.
Something’s Fishy about this Tureen
My selected object was part of the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition, Rococo: the Continuing Curve 1730-2008. As a docent at Cooper-Hewitt, I remember joyous laughs of recognition as visitors on my tours spotted the New York artist Cindy Sherman’s portrait as Madame de Pompadour replacing flowers in a cartouche surrounded by a warm pink known as Pompadour...