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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

The ceramic art of Eduard Stellmacher

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The Art Nouveau style is seldom more grotesque than in these vases and amphorae designed around the turn of the century by Eduard Stellmacher (1868–1945) for his father’s company, Amphora, in the Tur-Teplitz region of Bohemia. Art Nouveau (or Jugendstil as it was in Germany and Austria) emerged in Europe in the 1890s, and though its development ran parallel to the Decadence of the fin de siècle it wasn’t really a Decadent form in the literary sense of a dwelling on the perverse, the morbid or the blasphemous. The sinuous curves of Art Nouveau are too suggestive of vigorous life and energy to appear corrupt; Alphonse Mucha’s femmes are too healthy to be fatale, they’re nothing like the dissolute, hollow-eyed sirens seen in the drawings of Félicien Rops, an artist who wasn’t Nouveau (he died in 1898) but who was thoroughly Decadent.

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Stellmacher and co. created their share of delightful ceramic figures with Mucha-like tresses and flowing garments but Eduard’s designs around this time were preoccupied with ferocious creatures: bats, fish, lizards, octopuses, and a profusion of fire-breathing dragons. Even the plant forms have a diseased, unhealthy aspect. The designs may not have been intended as Decadent but they embody the quality more than anything used as vase decoration before or after this period. Art Deco also favoured predatory animals (snakes and leopards especially) but only in forms that were suitably sleek and abstracted.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Frémiet’s Lizard

 


 

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {sculpture}.

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2 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by The joey Zone

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    Thanks John–there is NOT a lot out there on ES.

    Recalled a book, went up the Amazon and–*oof*
    a wee pricey
    >https://www.amazon.com/MONSTERS-MAIDENS-Amphora-Pottery-Nouveau/dp/B000OLMCIS

    But for those of ye in deeper pocket
    >http://www.amphoracollectors.org/blog/

    Thoughts on Martinware as well? Those ceramic corvids always seemed of one with Arthur Rackham aviary…

    *deciding to vacation by contemplating a vase*
    TjZ

  2. #2 posted by Howard

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    Wow; fabulous images of great sculptures. Once again, I thank you.

 




 

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