Barbizet, Suiveur de Palissy, Ecole de Paris, Medusa Vase, circa 1870
This large vase, a clever mix of influences, reveals the decorative fantasy of Victor Barbizet and his workshop. Despite the absence of any visible mark or signature, our piece can be attributed to this artist who works in the spirit of Bernard Palissy and revives the “rustic figulines” or animal-inspired ceramics. Thanks to the interest of collectors and enlightened amateurs of the 19th century for earlier historical periods, several ceramists find their way back to the artists of the Renaissance. In this room, we can sense the Barbizet’s interest in the art of the past. In the centre of the vase is the face of the Gorgonian Medusa facing us, skilfully represented and frozen in an expression of “silent cry”. This face, taken from mythological tales, has been a great source of inspiration for artists of all ages. The painting by Caravaggio remains one of the most famous examples of creation around the theme of the Medusa (1597-1598).