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Style Art Nouveau / Ref.15163

Théodore DECK, circular dish decorated with flowers and butterfly on an eggplant background, after 1870


Diameter: 15'' ¾  40cm

19th century, French

Good condition

This ornamental dish decorated with coloured petunia flowers on an aubergine background was made in glazed ceramic by Théodore Deck (1823-1891) at the end of the 19th century.

Théodore Deck initially trained as a stove maker. When he set up on his own in Paris in 1858, he made stove linings and, building on his success, moved into ceramics. The studio produced a large number of dishes, sometimes in collaboration with well-known painters. He gradually perfected his technique and enjoyed great success at the many World’s Fairs he took part in. In 1878, he was made an Officer of the Légion d’Honneur. He ran the Sèvres factory between 1887 and his death in 1891.

This dish bears witness to the influence of Asian art, which he collected, on his work from the 1870s onwards: the dark background is set off by flat, brightly coloured, slightly shaded patterns. Petunia flowers are depicted in a detailed, naturalistic manner. Butterflies are often associated with floral patterns in Japanese prints.

The warm tones of the yellow, orange and white flowers contrast with the green and blue of the leaves. The bright blue used to depict some of the leaves is characteristic of the artist’s work, and has been nicknamed "Deck blue". The ceramist also worked on the shades of the background of his dishes, to give them movement and reinforce the design of the coloured patterns.

The Marc Maison gallery has another dish with an aubergine background featuring a brightly-coloured floral design accompanied by a butterfly (in this case, a red one).