Johann Joachim Kändler

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Johann Joachim Kaendler

Johann Joachim Kändler (June 15, 1706 – May 18, 1775) was the most important modelleur of the Meissen porcelain manufacture.

Kändler was born in Fischbach near Arnsdorf, Germany. After apprenticing at the sculptor Thomae in Dresden, he became assistant of Johann Jakob Kirchner at Meissen porcelain, and succeeded him as "modelmaster" in 1733 when Kirchner resigned. His models were heavy on rococo style, leading a porcelain trend of the day.

Kändler was appointed court sculptor by Augustus II the Strong in 1731. He became known for his animal sculptures including one of Clara the rhinoceros. His figures of Italian Comedy characters, principally Harlequins, give a more evocative sense of this form of theatre than most illustrations. A sample of such work (1738–43) can seen on the sixth floor, Ceramics, of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Other museums containing Kändler's work include the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Getty Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Rijksmuseum. In Germany you can find his sculptures in the Bavarian National Museum and the Dresden Porcelain Collection at Zwinger Palace.

After his death at Meißen in 1775, Kändler was succeeded by his assistants Johann Friedrich Eberlein and Peter Reinecke.