Diatom Colony
Diatom Colony
Diatom Colony

Made under the artistic directorship of Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer, this vase shows how skillfully Massier could walk the fine line between representational and abstract decoration. The triangular lozenges that constitute the allover décor are actually diatoms, a type of unicellular algae. Both Lévy-Dhurmer and Massier were fascinated with the decorative qualities of microscopic marine organisms, images of which were widespread in fin de siécle Europe.

About Clément Massier

Born into a family of ceramists, Clément Massier took an interest in the business from an early age. In 1884, after years of work, study, and travel, he relocated his share of the family firm to Golfe-Juan and began producing Hispano-Moresque-influenced pottery, with silver and copper oxide glazes made iridescence in a smoky kiln. Following the arrival Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer in 1887, Massier introduced fiery luster glazes enriched with etching and painting, applying them to forms ranging from hand-built individuality to slip-cast uniformity. He was soon in command of a busy factory and a showroom that boasted an elite international clientele. [Source: Jason Jacques]

French, 1845-1917, Vallauris, France, based in Golfe-Juan, France

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2014