The invention of European porcelain by Johann Friedrich Böttger on the basis of the experiments of Ehrenfried Walter von Tschirnhaus 1708 was of great importance for the history of human evolution. The porcelain manufactory Meissen®, founded in 1710 by King August the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, is the first porcelain manufactory in Europe, leading in the 18th century. She set the standards and created the prototypes for the European table culture and figurative sculpture.
In addition to the extensive production of services and luxury porcelain for decorative and representative purposes for the needs of the Dresden court countless figures and groups were modeled.

Böttger's achievement was above all to have won the manufacture of stoneware and porcelain in the manufactory, as well as various artists and craftspeople for the design of his products. The first major artistic personalities of the manufactory were the goldsmith Johann Jacob Irminger and the sculptors Balthasar Permoser and Benjamin Thomae. In 1720, the porcelain painter Johann Gregorius Höroldt came to Meissen.
He is considered the creator of European porcelain painting. Until 1731 he succeeded in the development of 16 different colors. Höroldt invented the Chinoiserie, Kauffahrteiszenen and countless other decors.

Until 1727, the manufactory had no modeller, so that the early figures and vessels were made since 1723 mostly by the former George Fritzsche. The sculptor Johann Gottlieb Kirchner was 1727-1733 first porcelain modeler of the manufactory.
Since 1731, his successor Johann Joachim Kaendler has for a generation determined the development of European tableware and figurine sculpture. As a trained sculptor, he developed an almost passionate enthusiasm for the new material porcelain and began to fully exploit the possibilities and limitations of the material. He systematized the entire range of dishes using a uniform design principle. In addition, he modeled life-size animal sculptures and small porcelain figurines for the courtly panels, fireplaces, consoles and dressers. He immortalized in these figures the entire court society, fools, beggars, pilgrims, comedians, artisans, peasants, shepherds, gardeners, hunters and soldiers, Parisian and London callers, miners, Japanese and other folk types, gods of ancient mythology and saints. Allegories, cupids and figures of the monkey band enriched the repertoire.

employee of Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706-1775):

1735 - 1749 Johann Friedrich Eberlein (1695-1749)
1739 - 1750 Johann Gottfried Ehder (1717-1750)
1743 - 1768 Peter Reinicke (1715-1768)
1748 - 1761 Friedrich Elias Meyer (1723-1785)
1761 - 1765 Carl Christoph Punct (-1765)
1764 - 1781 Michel Victor Acier (1736-1799)

In 1764, the Paris sculptor Michel Victor Acier was hired as the second model master model. His works represent the transitional style from Rococo to Classicism. As an associate of Johann Joachim Kaendler he was involved in the great Russian order of Catherine II and the table centerpiece for Frederick II of Saxony. After Kaendler's death in 1775, he was until 1781 the leading figure in the manufactory.

From the mid-1770s, the imitation of ancient Greek works determined the work of the European porcelain manufactories. For the Meissen sculptors, the fortunate circumstance was that Dresden received a significant collection of ancient originals and casts. From about 1780, the manufactory started working on models of miniature replicas of famous antique figures and groups. The modeler Johann Gottlob Matthäi produced in the Antikensammlung the models for the manufactory. In 1796 he received the post of inspector of the sculpture collection. In the same year Christian Gottfried Jüchtzer was commissioned to produce models based on the antique models. 
After the departure of the model master Acier, a close collaboration had developed between the assistant Aciers, Johann Carl Schönheit and Jüchtzer. The execution of these Meissen models was in a new material, the biscuit porcelain, whose rough surface reminds of marble or alabaster. However, antiquity not only offered decorative motifs for sculptures and painted decors, but also the antique vessel shapes themselves were transformed into porcelain.
In the Biedermeier period, no own figure style was created. After the anticopies, the modellers continued to work on the formation of foreign models during the following decades. Busts and replicas of important sculptures by the sculptors Christian Daniel Rauch, Johann Heinrich Dannecker, Bertel Thorvaldsen, Etienne Maurice Falconet and Jean Auguste Barre were modeled.

Modelers of Classicism and Biedermeier:

Johann Carl Schönheit (1730-1805)
Christian Gottfried Jüchtzer (1752-1812)
Johann Gottlob Matthäi (1753-1832)
Johann Daniel Schöne (1767-1843)
Franz Andreas Weger (1767-nach 1834)
Carl Gotthelf Habenicht (1800-1849)

However, the remakes of 18th-century models still took first place in the favor of buyers. In the following period Ernst August Leuteritz 1849 - 1886 was design director at the manufactory. He worked on existing vases, figures and groups of the 18th century and even designed vases, clocks, candlesticks and figures in the style of the Neo-Rococo and Neo-Classicism.
Heinrich Gottlob Kühn was first inspector in 1814 and director of the manufactory from 1833 to 1870. In 1817 he developed the chrome green (underglaze color) and in 1827 invented the brilliant gold. Since 1831, vessels were molded from pressed glass. Artistically, the years under Kühn's direction are characterized primarily by the inclusion of historical styles. In addition, a large part of the models produced in the 1870s and 1880s were made according to designs of foreign sculptors, some of them were reductions of large sculptures.

The successor to Ernst August Leuteritz was the sculptor Emmerich Andresen. He strove for the monumental and cultivated the historical modifications in the same way as Leuteritz.

Models of historicism:

Ernst August Leuteritz (1818-1893)
August Ringler (1837-1918)
Albert Georg Eras (1835-1907)
Emmerich Andresen (1843-1902)
August Thiel (1839-1920)

Freelance artists:

Ludwig Schwanthaler (1802-1848)
Ernst Julius Hähnel (1811-1891)
Johann Christian Hirt (1836-1897)
Johann Schilling (1828-1910)
Heinrich Schwabe (1847-1924)
Friedrich Rentsch (1836-1899)
Hugo Spieler (1854-1922)
Karl Röder (1854-1922)
Johannes Daniel Schreitmüller (1842-1885)
Heinrich Möller (1835-1929)
Heinrich Goeschl (1839-1896)
Hermann Hultzsch (1837-1905)
Rudolph Hölbe (1848-1926)
Adolf Rehm (1867-1952)

The Meissen® factory was temporarily in the direction of artistic redevelopment at the turn of the century in an unfamiliar backlog. After the death of Andres, the decisive change was the appointment of Erich Hösel, who was the head of the design department from 1903-1929. Although artists had been buying modern models since 1895, it was not until Hösel that the sculptors were encouraged to submit designs to the manufactory and the young employees of the manufactory received corresponding support. The still quite small circle of self-designing artists in the 1890s increased considerably after 1900. The changed relationship of the manufactory to their own artists was expressed in the fact that they were now also allowed to sign their works. The numerous, painted with underglaze colors, stylized Meissen Art Nouveau figures and vessels became popular.
Hösel also adopted the Alt-Meissener models right from the start. Unlike his predecessors, he tried to restore the original state. From the old forms, he made without "improve" or modify new models that were based as possible on the originals. Thus, Old Meissen's originality was regained.

Art Nouveau modellers:

Paul Helmig (1859-1939)
Erich Hösel (1869-1953)
Konrad Hentschel (1872-1907)
Rudolf Hentschel (1869-1951)
Theodor Eichler (1868-1946)
Alfred König (1871-1940)
Paul Walther (1876-1933)
Ivar Tillberg (1879-)
Philipp Lange (1879-1964)
Emmerich Oehler (1881-)
Arthur Lange (1875-1929)
Max Bochmann (1874-1942)

Freelance artists:

Reinhold Boeltzig (1863-nach 1939)
Bernhard Hoetger (1874-1949)
Otto Jarl (1856-1915)
Erich Kleinhempel (1874-1947)
Paul Kratz (1884-nach 1962)
Rudolf Löhner (1890-1971)
Robert Ockelmann (1849-1915)
Friedrich Offermann (1859-1913)
Mauritius Pfeiffer (1887-1957)
Otto Pilz (1876-1934)
Adolf Rehm (1867-1952)
Walter Schott (1861-1938)
Karl Schüppel (1876-)
Martin Wiegand (1867-1961)
Paul Zeiller (1880-1915)
Willy Zügel (1876-1950)

1913-1933 Max Adolf Pfeiffer was director of the porcelain manufactory Meissen®. The sculptors, who had already worked successfully for other manufacturers, Pfeiffer now also committed to Meissen. Already in 1913 the figures from the ballet "Carneval" by Paul Scheurich had been formed in Meissen. Scheurich remained as a freelance artist in the following decades of Meissen's favorite artists. Similarly multifaceted is the work of the animal sculptor Max Esser, who also worked as a freelance artist for the manufactory. 1923-1931 he was director of the master studio. In addition to numerous individual figures, he created the altogether 75 parts existing centerpiece "Reineke Fuchs"
The decisive novelty of the year 1919 was the subsequent invention and first reuse of the Böttger stoneware®. By dispensing with color, the models made in Böttgersteinzeug® concentrated entirely on the sculptural form. In the future, many of the new sculptures were created in three equal variants: in white porcelain without painting, in white porcelain with colored staffage and in Böttger stoneware. In contrast to the ornamented Art Nouveau tended the 1920s to sparingly decorated, simple forms. Since 1911 Paul Börner has been one of the most talented employees of the manufactory. He was from 1930 director of the artistic department.

Modelers of Art Deco:

Paul Börner (1888-1970)
Erich Oehme (1889-1970)
Alexander Struck (1902-1990)
Hermann Zeillinger (1882-1933)

Freelance artists:

Paul Scheurich (1883-1945)
Max Esser (1885-1945)
Ernst Barlach (1870-1938)
Gerhard Marcks (1889-1981)
August Gaul (1869-1921)
Richard Langer (1879-1950)
Ludwig Nick (1873-1936)
Willi Münch-Khe (1885-1960)
Franz Christophe (1875-1946)
Adelbert Niemeyer (1867-1932)

Already on May 16, 1945 (after the end of the war in Europe on May 8), the members of the manufactory expressed in a meeting their will to work together to get the work going again. Initially, peace production could only begin to a very modest extent. It began with the painting and the sale of existing goods. During the Soviet administration, all departments became operational again and production increased surprisingly fast. In 1950, the manufactory was named the state-owned porcelain factory Meissen® by the state-owned company VEB. In order to meet the demand for new developments, the manufactory bought designs of freelance artists. 
For a correspondingly new work from 1960, the collective of young artists with the members Rudi Stolle, Peter Strang, Heinz Werner and Ludwig Zepner was decisive. Peter Strang created hundreds of models and one of a kind over the course of more than five decades. The name Petrer Strang and modern Meissen porcelain® are inextricably linked.

Modelers from the mid-20th century:

Helmut Schulz (1906-1984)
Rudolf Rehbeil (1904-1984)
Gerhard Bochmann (1925-)
Dieter Hering (1941-)
Peter Strang (1936-)

Freelance artists from the mid-20th century:

Heinrich Thein (1888-1969)
Fritz Cremer (1906-1993)
Heinrich Drake (1903-1994)
Elfriede Reichel-Drechsler (1923-2009)
Otto Rost (1887-1970)
Friedrich Press (1904-1990)

Ludwig Strang and his colleagues are still important representatives of the manufactory's new work. But many of her works are already part of the classical heritage today. It is a new generation of artists representing the contemporary zeitgeist of the porcelain manufactory Meissen®. Jörg Danielczyk, who dignified Peter Strang, has decisively shaped the plastic language of the manufactory and has opened up new dimensions with his works. He too has created countless models and unique pieces for decades, passing on his knowledge to a master class with young talents. With the numerous new creations of the advancing artist collective the way of the manufactory is leveled in a new design period.

Contemporary modellers:

Jörg Danielczyk (1952-)
Silvia Klöde (1956-)
Sieglinde Großer (1957-)
Andreas Ehret (1959-)
Sabine Wachs (1960-)
Gudrun Gaube (1961-)
Matthias Scholz (1967-)
Olaf Fieber (1966-)
Silke Ebermann (1967-)
Maria Walther (1988-)
Maximilian Hagstotz (1992-)

Contemporary freelance artists:

Peter Makolies (1936-)
Regina Junge (1939-)
Angelica Saalmüller (1942-)
Hans Nübold (1942-)
Michael Weihe (1961-2012)
Jens Bergner (1964-)
Mariel Andrea Tarela (1968-)

Meissen® porcelains are not only the creations of the 18th century, but also the sum of all artistic forces in the course of times and epochs. Despite all tradition, each period of time is shaped by artists who are inspired by the spirit of the times. The Meissen® porcelain manufactory has accepted the challenge and found new ways of artistic renewal.