Start of Operations in 1744
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.
Upon enthronement of Catherine II (1762–1796 ), the manufactory was re-organized and re-named the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory in 1765. From then onward, it was to “satisfy the needs of entire Russia in porcelain”.
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.
The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory celebrated its 100th anniversary by establishing its own museum in 1844. It included a fine display of exhibits from the Winter Palace collections.
October Revolution and Porcelain in the 1920s
The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory was nationalized and renamed the State Porcelain Manufactory in 1918. The porcelain of the 1920s is one of the most curious and surprising chapters in the history of applied arts. This porcelain is associated with the names of Boris Kustodiev, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Kazimir Malevich and Vasily Kandinsky. The creative team headed by Nikolay Suetin, an apprentice of Malevich, invented the new Soviet porcelain style in tune with the «socialist way of life».
The individual style of A. Vorobyevsky, I. Riznich, M. Mokh, L. Blak, A. Yatskevich, S. Yakovleva, etc., determined the key features of Leningrad porcelain for years, i.e. pure and soft smooth shape, snow-white materials, fine painting and rich colours.
The Khrushchev's Thaw of the 1960s revived such art slogans of the 1920s as «Bring art to everyday life» and «Bring art to production environment». After the pompousness and excessive decoration typical of the Stalin’s period, the interest in white porcelain, laconic design and simple shape was rekindled.
Traditions and Modern Trends
Respect for heritage coupled with continuous development and regular renovation of artistic traditions is still a hallmark of St. Petersburg porcelain school.
Nowadays the "Imperial Porcelain Manufactory" produces about 4,000 types of products in a wide range: from tea, coffee and dinner sets, genre and animal sculptures, decorative plates to banquet sets of presidential level, gifts to government officials and the heads of foreign states, prizes for major competitions and festivals. They are made of solid and bone china. Products are decorated in overglaze and underglaze painting, frequently using the rare and precious metals. For decades the set «Cobalt net» (S. E. Yakovleva, A. A. Yatskevich), hallmark of the manufactory, is in the great demand. It was awarded a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Brussels. Products labeled «IPM» is exported to all over the world: USA, Germany, France, England, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Japan and others.