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Style Other / Ref.14054

Sèvres and Karine LIÉVEN, Pair of porcelain vases decorated with marathon runners, 1937


Height: 15'' ¾  40cm
Diameter: 7'' ⅞  20cm

20th century

Good condition

The cylindrical shape of these vases was created by Maurice Daurat in 1933. Their runner designs are nearly identical and were created by Karine Liéven, as indicated by the inscription under the base, alongside the Sèvres manufacture mark.

One of the two vases features a gold rim at the top and bottom, unlike the other. However, both carry the same design in shades of blue-gray and orange, depicting runners with outlined silhouettes and merely sketched faces.

The life of Karine Liéven (1899-1978) is not well-documented. It appears she painted extensively in watercolor, a medium whose influence is noticeable in the decoration of these vases.

The scene is rendered poetic by the landscape and by an evocation of sport independent of suffering and effort. Several runners are depicted barefoot.

There is a record of Karine Liéven’s preparatory drawing. The artist seems to have changed her approach during the process: in the sketch, she depicts a runner facing the viewer, whereas in the final version, all the runners are in profile, appearing to circle around the vase. While the first version is striking, as the athlete is moving directly toward the viewer, the second better adapts to the vase’s shape, allowing it to be admired from any angle.

Our vases can be compared to another vase of a very similar shape, also by Maurice Daurat and kept at the Musée National du Sport in Nice. This one is almost contemporary with ours, dated 1938, and also follows the Daurat form no. 3. Its subject is also sports-related, though in a different domain: the design, stylistically different from the marathon runners, depicts a boxing match. The violence of the representation of the protagonists’ confrontation is intensified by the frontal view of the scene, the use of intense colors, and the emphasis on the lines.

Price: on request

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