A Russian porcelain group "Paul, Virginie and The Dog Fidèle"
Popov Manufactory, Corbunovo, 1830-1850
The figures modeled after the novel Paul et Virginie , with blue monogram factory mark.
H: 6 1/2 in.
Ode to Joy Collection, Connecticut.
Hillwood Museum, no. 13; Pushkin Museum, no. 1
Oda k Radosti/Ode to Joy, p. 33, illus. 7, cat. no. 9
Paul et Virginie by Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, was first published in 1788. The novel's title characters are friends since birth, raised as siblings, who fall in love. Written on the eve of the French Revolution, the novel is recognized as Bernardin's finest work. The work was restored to popularity in the the 19th century when Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary (1856) described Emma's imagination: "She had read Paul et Virginie, and she had fantasized about the little bamboo cottage, the Negro Domingo, the dog Fidèle, but even more the sweet friendship of some good little brother who would go and gather ripe fruits for you from great trees taller than spires, or who would run barefoot in the sand, bringing you a bird's nest."