Vase featuring the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula

This egg-shaped vase by Maximilien-Joseph Jacquet and Louis Nédonchelle is one of the many 19th-century pieces depicting Brussels cityscapes. In the 19th century, many porcelain painters worked as home painters for one of Brussels’ porcelain factories. They were also known as “chambrelan”.

This piece was purchased at auction in 2020 and was part of the Demeuldre family’s private collection.

Jacquet and Nédonchelle, painters and decorators

Both Maximilien-Joseph Jacquet and Louis Nédonchelle worked for Frédéric Faber‘s factory for a while, but entered into a partnership as decorators between 1834 and 1839. They opened a shop at 52 rue de la Madeleine in Brussels.

The works of these two artists are related to the classical themes of their time. They take on the great successes, such as the view of Brussels, from their teacher and mentor, Frédéric Faber. Jacquet is best known for his flower paintings and Nédonchelle excels at painting everyday life, also known as genre scenes.

At the national industrial exhibition of 1835, they exhibited a series of vases depicting the Leuven town hall, the collegiate church of St. Gudula and the Palace of the Nation.

The death of Nédonchelle in 1839 brought an abrupt end to the collaboration and Jacquet continued alone. At the end of his life, he sold his studio, stock and painting materials to the Vermeren-Coché family, owners of the Ixelles II factory. Jacquet died in 1870.

Why did we include this work in our collections?

  • This work has an important documentary value: the city is represented on a less common medium, namely on a vase.
  • Cityscapes were popular motifs among Brussels porcelain painters. The Museum’s collection already includes five vases with different views (the Halle Gate, the Willemspoort, the Pavilion of the Prince of Orange, the Royal Park Theatre and the Palace of the Estates General). However, apart from a small cup with a side view of the cathedral, the collection lacks a significant image of the cathedral, an iconic building in the city.


Would you like to know more about this acquisition? Come and visit the museum to see it with your won eyes. You can also find more details about the work itself in the inventory sheet here available.