Pair of caryatid and atlante, ceramic and terracotta, circa 1900
Galerie Vauclair here presents so rare and exceptional pieces. This couple of man & woman is exceptional by the material – it is made not of wood, but glazed earthenware – and size. By themselves, these pieces are emblematic of a time: the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, a time when we especially like to use the figures of caryatids and atlantes to adorn architecture. Far from the famous antique model (often women draped in severe appearance to represent the power, as on the front of the Erechteion), the sculptor-ceramist here uses very decorative figures, very expressive and half naked. The anatomy of the bodies and faces is fully restored, and these figures are troubling naturalism. At the turn of the 1900’s, Art Nouveau emphasizes curves and body’s sensuality.