With its beautifully executed decor, this important vase provides tantalizing evidence that Lévy-Dhurmer may have also designed Massier's iconic mushroom vase, Grand Champignon. While the short twisting handles of the above example feed into elongated leaves, similar handles appear as stems for painted mushroom heads on the mushroom vase. The ingenious blending of sculptural and painted elements adds a compelling organic harmony to both pieces.
Signature: Stamped Clement Massier, Golfe-Juan (AM), L Levy
About Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer
Best known today as a Symbolist painter, Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer made an unforgettable impact on France's ceramics revolution through his work with Clément Massier in Golfe-Juan between 1887 and 1895. The two men worked together on innovative shapes, the rediscovery of luster glazes, and the use of luster glazes with etching to bring about fantastically complex effects. Lévy-Dhurmer's decorations were influenced by the prevailing fervor for Japanese, Islamic, and other Near Eastern ceramics but, a Symbolist at heart, he often rejected realism in favor of mysticism and spirituality. His unique contribution was his ability to produce shapes and patterns that seem to shimmer with life, while suggesting deeper meanings. [Source: Jason Jacques]