In 1953 Juan, José and Vicente Lladró make their first creations inspired by an experimental vocation in a Moorish furnace built in their own home in Almàssera (Valencia)
José, Juan and Vicente Lladró in 1960.
In this way, they develop their artistic interest as they work in a tile and crockery factory. These carefully designed pieces already have a special charm that awakens public interest.
Moorish furnace where the Lladró brothers started to make their works.
Valencian girl (50’s)
By 1955 they begin making sculptures in which a clear influence of the trends of the XVIII century can be observed. These pieces evoke the works of former porcelain artists such as Meissen, Sèvres and Capodimonte.
In 1958 Juan, José and Vicente decide to dedicate themselves exclusively to their own works and transfer their small company to a warehouse in the neighboring town of Tavernes Blanques, because the family workshop has become too small for their business.
Demand for Lladró creations grows unexpectedly.
The brothers introduce innovations not only in the design and style of the figurines but also in the firing techniques, reducing the three-layer firing to a one-layer process. One-firing is an innovative method which creates the crystalline finish and the pastel tonalities typical of Lladró works.
A growing number of sculptors, chemists and decorators increase the production of the brothers’ work. They soon decide to incorporate a logo on all their figurines.
Beside “Porcelanas Lladró”, they add a Greek master piece, the Victory of Samotracia, thus associating their surname to the ideal of classical art.
By the end of this decade, Lladró opens a store in Valencia and two more within a few years’ time.
In this period, the word "Spain" is incorporated to Lladró’s logo as a clear indicator of the company’s exporting vocation. In 1965, Lladró exports part of its production to Canada and begins to be introduced into the United States, where the brothers travel for the first time in 1969.
The City of Porcelain
In 1962, the other milestone in the spectacular growth experienced by the company is the opening of a Professional Training School with the aim of conveying the experience and essence of the Lladró brothers’ creative spirit.
In 1967 work begins on building the City of Porcelain, an area which combines factory and office buildings with leisure and sport facilities for the workers. This innovative complex is opened on October 13, 1969.
Almost at the same time, the Lladró brothers become pioneers in employing disabled workers, thus showing their concern for fostering social and labor integration.
Sad Harlequin (1969) marks a considerable change in the brothers’ artistic evolution. The stylized lines and the romantic air of the figurine will long characterize Lladró style, appreciated throughout the world.
The 1960’s are marked by a growing impetus for Lladró, as a result of two major facts. One of them is the progressive internationalization of their porcelain which begins when a group of Americans discover the brothers’ creations on a trip to Valencia looking for new products to import into their country.
The first sculpture they see, a small shepherdess, already provided with the typical traits of the brand, captivates the visitors from the very first moment.
Sad Harlequin (1969)
The 1970’s are marked by Lladró’s consolidation in the American market. The logotype changes due to a desire to establish an association between science and art, the basis of creation in porcelain, as a result of the union between an ancient chemical symbol and the stylised version of a “campanillo”, a typical bell-shaped flower of the area where Lladró was born.
The surname of the founders is printed under this image.
Passionate dance (1973)
In this decade, Lladró launches the new Gres line. It is a material which is conducive to making large sculptures and gives the pieces a special warmth, due to its earth-like tonality and its matte finish. Figurines made of this material are not painted; several layers of varnish are applied on them which, after firing, create different chromatic effects, thus enlarging the expressive possibilities.
Also in the seventies, the vase line is born, an excellent means for Lladró painters to reflect their art in the recreation of bird and flower patterns inspired by the oriental culture.
In 1974, the first sculptures of the Élite collection are created. This collection comprises more technically complex sculptures, generally large creations highly considered by the Lladró brothers.
Pheasant vase (1978)
In the 1980s the Lladró brothers opened the doors of their company to the future and invited their children to join the Board of Directors.
Also, during this decade Lladró grows overseas in several countries where their porcelain creations are very popular.
In 1986, the company signs a joint-venture agreement with the Mitsui group, a figurine dealer in Japan and, as a consequence of this alliance, the subsidiary in this country is born, followed by China, Australia, United States and the United Kingdom. On September 18th of the same year, the Lladró Museum is opened in New York, located on prestigious 57th street in Manhattan, in a building that preserves the urban charm of the 1920s.
Flowers of the Season
In the creative arena, in 1982 one of the milestones of the brand is introduced: Flowers of the Season, a composition of hundreds of flowers that conveys grace and freshness with a great artistic value.
Flowers have always had a very important meaning to Lladró, as their creation requires expert hands.
A group of artists is exclusively dedicated to this activity, giving detailed and thorough attention to this typical Lladró element, petal by petal.
Throughout these years, the Lladró family continued its ongoing quest for new forms of expression in its creations.
This gave rise to new collections such as Sculptures, which connected with the tradition of classical sculpture. These are large format works in very limited editions, never more than 300 units, in which Lladró artists give free rein to their creativity.
Pierrot with puppies (1985)
In 1985, the Lladró Collectors Society is created, which for over fifteen years brings together more than one hundred thousand lovers of art in fine porcelain. Their first annual sculpture is Little Pals.
The 1990’s confirm the success of the artistic and professional career of the Lladró brothers, with their works receiving important awards and being exhibited in several cities throughout the world.
In this ten year period, Lladró receives the most important acknowledgments to its professional career: the Príncipe Felipe award for Internationalization (1993), for Competitiveness (1997) and for Renown Brand Management (2001), three awards given to the Lladró brothers by the Prince of Asturias and which represent a milestone for the company.
In 1991, the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, considered an art benchmark in the world, becomes the venue of an exhibition of Lladró sculptures from which the pieces 18th century coach and Don Quixote become part of the permanent exhibition. Later, Lladró exhibits a selection of its emblematic pieces in the Valencia Pavilion in the Universal Show of Seville, as well as in the Museum of Modern Art of Santo Domingo.
Neoclassic cup with lillies (1998, Colección Caprichos)
Lladró Center in Beverly Hills.
During this decade, Lladró continues expanding in some of the world’s most important cities. In 1996, the first Lladró owned store opens in Madrid, located on exclusive Serrano street, and a year later the Lladró Center in Beverly Hills is opened, a boldly and elegantly designed building at 408 North Rodeo Drive.
By the end of the 1990’s the luxury collection “Legend” is born, combining the delicate and translucent texture of porcelain with the shine of gold and precious stones. A series of imaginary creatures, fairies, elves and little angels are born as a new technical challenge and a new form of expression for Lladró artists.
With over 40 years to its credit, the brand cast a look back over its past and identified its timeless classics. One of these is its handcrafted flowers, which find their highest expression in the Caprichos series, made up of delicate floral compositions and elegant bouquets. Crafted one by one with extraordinary patience and deft of hand, worth underscoring in these flower centerpieces is the detailed recreation of the model, from the velvety texture of the corolla to the ribs of the leaves.
On the other hand, Lladró captured all the freshness and spontaneity of the original sketch in the Goyescas series. This collection transforms into sculpture all the raw power which Goya poured into his works on paper.
Back to back (1993, Goyescas Collection)
The 1990s is also the time of large compositions, of complex scenes combining many different characters. In this regard, Cinderella’s Arrival is one of the benchmarks in the history of Lladró.
Cinderella’s arrival (1994)
By the end of the 1990’s the luxury collection “Legend” is born, combining the delicate and translucent texture of porcelain with the shine of gold and precious stones.
A series of imaginary creatures, fairies, elves and little angels are born as a new technical challenge and a new form of expression for Lladró artists.
One of the most significant events during this phase happened when, after fifty years at the helm of the company, the three founding brothers decided to hand over control to the second generation of the Lladró family which entered the new Board of Directors in 2003.
Some years afterwards, in 2007, the eldest of the founding brothers, Juan Lladró, took over ownership of the company together with his daughters Rosa and Ángeles, President and Vice-President of Lladró S.A.
This decade is marked by Lladró’s focus on new lines in home décor with pieces combining beauty and functionality.
For instance, Lladró entered into lighting fixtures and also into bathrooms with its Lladró Bath line, into Table Art with Naturofantastic, or into home fragrances with the Lladró Fragrances collection.
Small oval mirror Re-deco (2007)
Niagara Chandelier 1.1 m (2006)
Naturofantastic – large vase (golden)
Lladró Bath Collection (2006)
This was also a time when it opened up new aesthetic paths running in parallel with its timeless classics. These are Lladró’s essentials, matte sculptures with more synthetic lines and charged with a notable symbolism. Here the use of matte porcelain decorated mostly in white enhances the power of the modeling.
You’re my angel (2004)
Likewise, Lladró announces the Re-Cyclos project in 2005, where important designers create new objects out of the brand’s classical pieces.
In its first edition, the creative team CuldeSac creates original crowns and geodes out of Christmas ornaments while Bodo Sperlein creates items of jewelry and decoration in Lladró Re-Cyclos Magical.
On another note, since 2006 the company has brought the renowned designer Jaime Hayon on board, who creates The Fantasy collection for the brand.
Lladró Re-Cyclos Magical (2006)
Conversation Vase I crowned with The Lover II (2008)
The result of an ongoing desire to raise the expressive potential of porcelain to its maximum is the High Porcelain collection, the brand’s maximum artistic category.
The monumental sculpture Queen of the Nile joined this collection in 2006. At over 160 centimeters long, it is the largest piece ever to come out of the porcelain workshop.
Queen of the Nile (2006)
It was later followed by other sculptures following the same line, some of which were inspired by icons from other cultures, like the Hindu Ganeshas or the Japanese Hina Dolls, demonstrating Lladró’s ability to connect with the different sensibilities of peoples from the five continents.
Lord Ganesha (2010)
Hina Dolls - Emperor - Empress (2009)
The beginning of the decade of the 2010s
saw the consolidation of Lladró Atelier,
a space conceived to enhance the creativity
of the brand’s in-house designers
while also bringing on board
new external projects in porcelain.
Under the artistic direction of
collections such as
The Parrot Party,
The Parrot Party Collection
Guardian lions (2011)
More than a simple collection, The Guest project is a platform for artists from different disciplines to collaborate with Lladró.
It issues an invitation to groundbreaking artists from all over the world to lend a distinctive personality to an original porcelain character created by Jaime Hayon.
Always in a permanent evolution, Lladró reivents itself in its new classics, featuring bright colours, original shapes and innovative textures.
Jazz trio (2011)
Gradually, the brand increases in these years the creation of pieces which pay tribute to the new oriental traditions and its wealthy iconography.