Massier visited Valencia and Manises in the early 1880s to study Hispano-Moresque ceramics. Examples seen at that time may have inspired the decoration of this vase. The allover pattern, consisting of stylized sunflowers, petals, and vines, is executed in a golden luster glaze on a paler gold background. The body twist creates a sense of dynamism, conveys the plasticity of clay, and allows the decoration to move in three dimensions. This vase was exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1889. It was here that Massier unveiled his lusterware to an international audience and was awarded a gold medal for his achievement.
Signature: Marks: painted artist's initials, Golfe Juan, 1889
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