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

Wedgwood, Painted by Émile Aubert Lessore, with Henry Brownsword

1863-1864

This enormous vase, one of the largest objects ever produced by the Wedgwood factory, was originally one of a pair, possibly made for the London International Exhibition of 1862. The scene on the front of the vase depicts Alexander the Great, accompanied by his friend Hephaestion, entering the tent of the Persian King Darius III after Le tente de Darius by Charles Le Brun (1619-90) from the Triumphs of Alexander series painted between 1662 and 1673. Le Brun created the series to allude to the grandeur of the reign of King Louis XIV of France, who likened himself to Alexander. Lessore used as his prototype an engraving of the painting by the Flemish artist Gérard Edelinck (1640-1707), which was made to complete the series otherwise engraved by Gérald Audran (1640-1703). The painting, which continues around the body of the vase, shows on the reverse a landscape typical of Northern Africa. The pair to this vase is now in the Wedgwood Museum in England.