This Monumental Lidded Vase, whose form is inspired by classical antiquity, is similar in style to an "Albarelle" jar of an apothecary. The front of the vase depicts a monumental nude who is only barely covered by a piece of drapery, her face is in profile and her eyes are in a stylized Egyptian almond shape. She is using an apothecary's distillation system. On the reverse of the vase a serpent undulates on with the inscription: 'CE VASE A ÉTÉ EXECUTÉ POUR MR M. RIVIÈRE PHARMACIEN PAR R. BUTHAUD CÉRAMISTE A BORDEAUX MCMXXVVIII.' The form of the serpent is echoed in the writhing handles of the jar. The lid of the vase is stacked and is reminiscent of a stupa in form, suggesting that something of importance should be placed inside.
About René Buthaud
Best known for stylized depictions of female figures—odalisques, reclining nudes, and mythological goddesses—René Buthaud was one of the most important French ceramists of the Art Deco period. Although he began as a painter and engraver in the academic style and trained at l’École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, in 1919 Buthaud turned to ceramics, which became his choice medium thereafter. Buthaud originally focused on decorative, enameled ceramics, which were fired in a wood-burning kiln he built himself (later to be replaced by a more effective coal-burning kiln.) Using vivid, jazz-age color palettes and firm outlines to paint foliage, geometric compositions, and nudes, Buthaud explored classical, primitive, and naturalistic themes, all while championing the ideals of modernism.
French, 1886-1987, Sainte, France, based in Bordeaux, France