The Collection at the BMA

Medium: lead-glazed earthenware (creamware) and stoneware (jasperware)

Large vase of creamware and jasperware constructed of seven pieces (plinth, base, foot, body, two handles, neck), the fluted base and square plinth are of blue, white, brown, and beige jasper combined to create a marbled effect, then covered with a lead glaze to resemble green malachite; the yellow foot has a central blue and white band decorated with a wavescroll pattern; the two loop handles are decorated with yellow bands down each side, the central handle has a white ground on both sides decorated with stylized green and yellow leaf-and-berry vines; the neck is likewise yellow highlighted with a repeating star pattern, on either side is a central reserve of a lighter yellow color and outlined with blue foliate motifs, in the middle of each in blue is a tripod urn above two crossed leafy branches, the lip with a blue egg-and-dart pattern; the central ovoid body depicts in monochrome blue the scene of Alexander the Great, accompanied by his friend Hephaestion, entering the tent of the Persian king Darius III after "La tente de Darius" by Charles Le Brun (1619-90) from the “Triumphs of Alexander” series painted between 1662 and 1673 (now in the Louvre). Lessore used as a prototype an engraving by Gérard Edelinck (Flemish, 1640-1707), which was made to complete the series otherwise engraved by Gérald Audran (French, 1640-1703). The painting, which continues around the body of the vase shows on the reverse a landscape typical of Northern Africa.

Alexander Vase