Chairman of the Board of Directors of Imperial Porcelain Мanufactory Joint-Stock Co.

It is about three centuries now since the date when the Imperial Porcelain Manu factory was founded. The enterprise has a lot to be proud of both in its past and present and, I would like to believe, in its future. It has always been the centre of Russian porcelain art, the wares created within its walls are a model of true taste and the factory’s artists are trend-setters in this field.
Together with the whole country the factory survived through all historical ordeals and responded to major events with remarkable works of art and technological discoveries. The famous propaganda porcelain expressed in a vivid and unusual form the new Soviet ideology. During the years of the First World War and the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 the enterprise provided for the needs of the front in crockery for hospitals, mastered the production of optical glass, chemical and technical porcelain.
The theme of war was treated by the factory’s artists, but it did not become the prevailing motif of their porcelain wares. On returning to the factory the famous porcelain master Alexey Vorobyevsky destroyed several of his works featuring the war and said: “Porcelain must be beautiful.” Several generations of the factory’s artists have shared this axiom to this day. The team of professional artists is our competitive advantage in business. Few enterprises in this industry could allow this. But it is only such a union of advanced mechanization with imaginative creativity that makes it possible for us to develop and maintain the status of the Academy of Porcelain. The said words may be confirmed by the unabated interest of researchers and art collectors in both historical and contemporary porcelain. Every year leading museums of the country arrange exhibitions, round tables and conferences with Russian porcelain as their inexhaustible theme, focusing primarily on the wares produced at the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory. In the year of the 275th Anniversary we would like to share with viewers our joy of contemplating the best works created at the legendary enterprise. The present edition will give you a chance to trace the art history of the manufactory – from the first Russian dinner service to conceptual spatial compositions of our days.

In 1744, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna established by her decree the Neva Porcelain Manufactory, which marked the beginning of the history of Russian porcelain. 275 years have passed since that date, which cover several historical periods. Despite the changes of owners, political regimes and artistic tastes, living through wars and revolutions, the earliest porcelain enterprise of the Russian state, the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, continues its history looking steadily forward.
Artistic porcelain reflected the tastes of crowned commissioners, dominating styles and art trends characteristic of different eras, major historic events and social ideas. For more than 150 years, until the revolution of 1917, the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory created unique articles and dinner sets with the monogram of the ruling monarch. They decorated majestic receptions and everyday life of the imperial residences, were presented as gifts to members of the imperial family and their entourage or were used as valuable diplomatic gifts. The propaganda porcelain, produced at the State Porcelain Factory during the first years of Soviet power, entered the history of world art as a highly remarkable phenomenon. In 1925, to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Russian Academy, the factory was named after the great Russian scholar Mikhail Lomonosov. Several years later the articles of the factory began to bear the ЛФЗ mark, which for many years became a symbol of high-quality products. In 2005, upon the initiative of its auctioneers the enterprise has regained its historical name of the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, which has definitely determined a new era in the development of artistic porcelain.
We are happy that in the 21st century the earliest porcelain enterprise of Russia continues its progress and enjoys one of its most interesting periods: the best traditions of different epochs are being revived and employed for works produced by contemporary masters. At the same time artists explore new possibilities of the material presenting original individual perceptions of the present and future of the art of porcelain.
Articles produced at the manufactory from the middle of the eighteenth century to the present day are regularly displayed at exhibitions and occupy a notable place in the leading museums of Russia; they are invariably in high demand among art collectors and lovers of porcelain. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the people who are involved in the creation of porcelain wares. Thanks to the everyday concerted efforts of hundreds of top-class experts, relying on rich traditions and incessant creative quests, the art of Russian porcelain continues its impressive development. The publication of this art book, a kind of guide to the history of our enterprise, is timed to coincide with the 275th Anniversary of the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory. We sincerely hope that the book will appeal to the widest possible range of readers and will give them a joy of contact with true art.


Director General of Imperial Porcelain Мanufactory Joint-Stock Co.

Foundation of Manufactory under Empress Elizabeth of Russia
Established in 1744 in Saint Petersburg by order of Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory became the first porcelain works in Russia and the third one in Europe.
A little more than three centuries ago the Europeans had no idea from what porcelain was made. Chinese masters carefully guarded the secrets of its production. Owing to its rarity and price porcelain was valued as gold and it was often called “white gold”...
Read more
Rise of Russian Porcelain During the Reign of Catherine II and Paul I. Early Classicism.
The Golden Age of Catherine II, called the Great, became the period when the art of porcelain reached its fullest development in Russia. From the very beginning of her reign Catherine gave much attention to porcelain production. Before going for her coronation to Moscow, she entrusted the Cabinet of Her Imperial Majesty to select the best porcelain articles at the manufactory and send them to the former capital of Russia for display and sale. In a year the empress visited the enterprise and bought 29 snuff-boxes there.
Read more
Re-organisation under Alexander I. High Classicism
Alexander I (1801–25). Alexander I inherited an interest in the porcelain factory, too. But the turbulent historic events that befell to his reign did not allow the emperor, who defeated Napoleon and saved Europe, from giving due attention to the development of Russian porcelain. The only man, who was responsible for the state of affairs at the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory throughout the reign of Alexander I,became the manager of the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty, Count Dmitry Guryev. In 1809 Dmitry Guryev, who was eager to make the art department impeccable, invited the sculptor Stepan Pimenov, an adjunct-professor of the Academy of Arts, to the factory..
Read more
1825 - 1894
Era of Nicholas I, Alexander II and Alexander III
The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory provided almost all St. Petersburg palaces with its dinner sets during the reign of Alexander I and Nicholas I (1825-1855). Porcelain ware enjoyed the extensive diversity of styles. Among others, so-called Russian trend took the root. Fedor Solntsev, a Russian archaeologist and virtuoso, designed dinner sets for the Great Kremlin Palace in Moscow and Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich of Russia.
In the time of Nicholas I, porcelain stood out for its artful painting. The vases displayed the old masters’ chef d’oeuvres (Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Murillo, etc.) mostly from the Hermitage collection.
Read more
Reign of Nicholas II and Russian Art Nouveau. Pre - revolution time.
During the reign of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II (1894–1917), thanks to the technical innovations of the previous period, the plant experiences state samples in technical and technological respects. The wealth of art technology is the pride of the factory, and later, during the years of the First World War, whole economic and electrical porcelain were involved. All large orders were made by Emperor Alexandre Fedorov, who was at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. These are the services of "Alexandrinsky" and "Tsarskoye Selo."
Read more
1918 - 1930
October Revolution and Porcelain in the 1920s
In March 1918 the State Porcelain Factory was put under the guardianship of People’s Commissariat for Education. The enterprise personnel was set a task to convert the former court man ufactory as soon as possible into an “experimental ceramic laboratory of republican significance”, producing “propaganda  porcelain in the high meaning of  this work – revolutionary in content, perfect in form and impeccable in its technical execution.” The first post-revolutionary years were marked by a truly unseen boom of mass-scale propaganda art. In this festive polyphony of resounding and vivid colours, in the use of special imagery for the propaganda of the victorious revolution, porcelain products occupied a prominent place.
Read more
The period before and during the Second World War
Following industrialization and collectivization carried out in the country, as a result of which, according to the party documents, “a victory of Socialism was ensured in the USSR”, a wide-scale “cultural construction” started in the early thirties. Socialist Realism, practically denying all alternative trends in art and literature, was proclaimed as the only true method to be used by Soviet artists. The Lomonosov Porcelain Factory that had rich cultural traditions and professional personnel came to be regarded as the basis for the creation of a new style consonant with socialist everyday life.
Read more
1950 - 1990
Soveit period: creation of the best
In post-war art, after the asceticism of the blockade years, the overwhelming need for beauty and joy is expressed. In porcelain painting, fertility and wealth in the works of Anna Efimova, folk popular motifs and fairy-tale fantasies by Alexei Vorobyevsky, decorative ornament of Anna Yatskevich became an example of this. In sculpture - the theme of childhood and motherhood in the works of Sofia Velikhova and Galina Stolbova. The animal world and literary characters are represented in the plastic of Boris Vorobyov. A talented illustrator and writer Yevgeny Charushin, outstanding sculptors Vera Mukhina and Elena Yanson-Manizer, who embodied...
Read more
Our Time
Traditions and Modern Trends
The year 2002 witnessed an event that marked the start of a new period in the history of the enterprise: the controlling shareholding was bought out from the foreign owners by the family of well-known Russian entrepreneurs and donators – Nikolay Tsvetkov and Galina Tsvetkova. Galina Tsvetkova, an art collector, connoisseur and expert in Russian artistic porcelain, was appointed Chairman of the Overseeing Committee of Lomonosov Porcelain Factory Company
Read more

About IPM