The works created by A. Spiess vary greatly in their subject matter. They include cupids, graceful gardeners and flower girls, court ladies and cavaliers, mythological figures, Commedia dell'Arte personages, and so on. Spiess' technique and range of subject matter were more often than not inherited from earlier centuries. The copying of earlier models mirrored not only the mood of the period, but also the personal tastes and convictions of the sculptor. The current sculptural composition is a free reworking of Renaissance Italian sculpture, its type referencing the Italian master, Lucca della Robbia, whose work could be widely seen in the collections of the State Hermitage. The practice of making copies of paintings and other works of art from the State Hermitage was widespread among the artisans of the Imperial Porcelain factory in the middle of the second half of the 19th century. It is by following in the footsteps of the greatest factory craftsmen that Spiess created the figures of the Madonna and Child with St John the Baptist. Compositions depicting the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child were incredibly popular during the period under discussion and were continuously reworked by Russian porcelain makers for the decoration of Easter eggs, ornamental surfaces and so on.
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