Originally published in Hungarian Ceramics from the Zsolnay Manufactory, 1853-2001, edited by Eva Czenkey. New Haven and London: Published for the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, New York by Yale University Press, 2002. 23-33.

From the exhibition: Hungarian Ceramics from the Zsolnay Manufactory, 1853-2001.

Historicism and Art Nouveau in nineteenth-century decorative arts were the result of a fellowship that developed soon after 1820 between science, industry, art, and education, in part to supply the rapidly growing industrial society with contemporary-style home furnishings. The decoration of these objects was based on the intellectual foundations of historicism: reverence and adaptation of past historical forms and designs combined with innovation and the expansion of available technologies. In the case of ceramics, nineteenth-century scientific research at European factories promoted experimentation by ceramic craftsmen to revive forgotten historical forms, production techniques, and firing processes, which ultimately made possible the development of a modern style. Toward the end of the century, chemists and technicians with decades of experience were at work in the applied arts industries, and artists, by then weary of historicism, began to translate new aesthetic visions into Art Nouveau.

With the steady advance and technical modernization of European factories, fueled by financial competition among applied arts manufactories, came an expectation for these factories to create lasting innovations in form and design. From 1820 to 1890, when decorative arts were often characterized by historicism, the development of new materials, production methods, and technological refinements, coupled with a broad aesthetic and decorative vocabulary, exceeded similar developments from previous centuries and remains unsurpassed today. In the second half of the nineteenth century, advancing industrialization, explosive population growth in the cities, and an economic upswing despite competition between manufactories supported the visions of applied art entrepreneurs such as those who founded the Zsolnay factory in 1853.

During the eighteenth century in Europe, the discovery and widespread dissemination of the formula to create high-fired hard-paste porcelain like that produced in China had lessened the importance and popularity of other types of ceramic materials. For use in royal ceremonial rooms and for the courtly table, porcelain was the preferred ceramic body. Faience, or tin-glazed earthenware, consequently fell out of favor, and ceramic bodies fired at lower temperatures than porcelain, popular since the late seventeenth century, were steadily replaced by the new material.

However, during the third quarter of the nineteenth century, interest in historical design, as well as a growing search for novelty among competing manufactories, raised the artistic status of earthenware bodies like faience, or majolica, which embraced revival designs based on historicism. With the rise in popularity of Japonisme in the late nineteenth century, stoneware was also added to the nineteenth-century consumer’s list of preferred ceramics, and later became the favorite material for studio ceramics produced in the twentieth century. As technology was refined, these readily available and diverse ceramic materials played a central role in the ornamentation of palaces and public buildings built for the European monarchy and citizenry.

The stylistic development of ceramics in the second half of the nineteenth century was strongly shaped by applied arts schools and pedagogically active museums that were connected to them. Professionals at these museums exercised great influence on the selection of museum collections and materials for educational instruction while serving as jurors at international exhibitions and writing on ceramic styles. Since 1820 these theorists had categorically defined and celebrated the “best” periods of art history—with a changing emphasis upon particular eras or non-European advanced civilizations.1 Toward the end of the century, these critics were advocating a new stylization of nature as “Art Nouveau.” The expanded art historical definitions and museum collections influenced the stylistic development at ceramics factories throughout Europe. Even the traditional firm sent ceramic pieces that followed the latest stylistic trends to the large international exhibitions.2

In the late 1860s,Vilmos Zsolnay made the bold decision to take on the floundering earthenware production in Pécs, Hungary, which until then had been managed by his father Miklós and brother Ignác (see the introduction). The moment could hardly have been more favorable. Europe’s economic upswing began around 1870, and despite hard, competitive battles between manufactories, skilled entrepreneurs were able to establish factories and experiment with new forms and decoration. During the second half of the nineteenth century, which largely focused on technological progress, every ceramic factory owner could expect maximum attention and publicity when he revolutionized his production and responded to the contemporary demand for improved production technologies and formulas for industrial and architectural ceramics.

At the same time, the rapidly growing urban upper middle class was striving for an elegant style of living during this period of industrial expansion, and Vilmos Zsolnay found a buyer’s market for his diverse luxury wares that still referenced historicism. However, while there were more connoisseurs of old art and culture among the middle class than ever before, there were also a growing number of highly cultivated collectors who furnished their houses with artistic, technologically progressive objects in accordance with the notion of interior design as a Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art).

The Zsolnay factory became one of the successful hybrid ceramic factories producing wares for both a traditional and a progressive clientele.

During the last decades of the nineteenth century, in which the small Zsolnay firm expanded into a large enterprise, Vilmos Zsolnay had to deal with modern competition from Western European ceramic factories. In addition to royal manufactories such as Sèvres in France, there were new factories founded by bourgeois businessmen, like Zsolnay. They produced traditional faience and porcelain, which had acquired a large circle of customers, as well as more reasonably priced, modern earthenware. This new generation of courageous entrepreneurs did not cater to the taste of royalty as had eighteenth-century ceramicists, but rather bet their money and future economic success on the production of functional ceramic products for architectural and building needs, road construction, technical use, and ordinary tableware. The growing industrialization and changing society encouraged the steady growth of firms like Zsolnay that included among their products the building blocks needed for the new urbanization, such mundane products as pipes, bricks, and wall and floor tiles. If industrial ceramics led to a factory’s financial stability, then a department for luxury wares would also ensure the factory’s high artistic reputation beyond the turn of the century.

In the realm of artistic ceramics, it was the English firms, such as Doulton and Minton, that spearheaded technological developments in European ceramics. The Doulton Pottery and Porcelain Company began in London, in 1815, under the name Doulton and Watts. It flourished economically as a manufacturer of industrial stoneware products such as water filters and ceramics for the construction industry until the 1860s when it began to cooperate with the nearby Lambeth School of Art use student designs to produce more decorative wares based on earlier styles and forms. Their first stoneware vessels, salt-glazed in the manner of Rhenish models of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and decorated with cobalt blue, were well received at the influential 1867 Paris Universal Exposition. As Continental collectors began to buy more of Doulton’s products, the factory responded by establishing a permanent department of art pottery. By 1890 the factory employed 345 art potters at the Lambeth factory in London and at its new premises in Burselm, Staffordshire. Doulton had already stopped producing the traditional, simple stoneware vessels designed by company artists with incised sgraffito decoration and had started to experiment with a range of factory styles. In addition to the decorative ceramics with factory-developed incised decorative techniques, such as “marquetry” or “chiné ware,” which involved pressing lace into the wet clay to create surface texture that could be enameled and gilded, the factory was producing varied forms of decorative ceramics including vases, tableware, tiles, and plaques.3

Far more ambitious, diverse, and colorful examples of historicism in nineteenth-century ceramics included new ceramic wares introduced by Minton’s Pottery and Porcelain Factory. The factory was founded in Staffordshire in the 1790s by Thomas Minton as a manufactory of earthenware, stoneware, bone china, and porcelain. It quickly became the uncontested European ceramic market leader under the guidance of inspired entrepreneurs such as Herbert Minton (Thomas’s son; director, 1836-58) and Colin Minton Campbell in the second half of the nineteenth century. Herbert Minton, a friend of England’s predominant Gothic Revival reformer, A.W. N. Pugin, produced tiles and other ceramics to his designs. In 1849 Minton engaged Joseph-François Léon Arnoux, the former artistic director at Sèvres, to explore all the current artistic trends in ceramics, while acting as the factory’s artistic operational manager. The works of French ceramicists (for example, Jean-Charles Avisseau) inspired Arnoux’s new designs, as they would later inspire his “Saint-Porchaire” ware that copied original Renaissance models, his variations of Sèvres porcelain, and the beautiful works in pâte-sur-pâte by Marc-Louis Solon. By the 1851 London Great Exhibition, far before their competitors, thanks to Arnoux, Minton’s had enlivened its product lines, the factory introduced by strongly colored variations of the German and Austrian Renaissance Hafnerware, or lead-glazed earthenware tiles and vessels molded in relief and covered in green, brown, and yellow glazes. By adding this line Arnoux also influenced rival English ceramic firms featuring designs in neo-Rococo, late neoclassical, and Biedermeier styles. Minton’s also maintained flourishing tile and architectural ceramic departments, which were also directed by artists.4

No other factory in Europe was easily able to match these large English ceramics firms that traced their roots to the eighteenth century. In Italy, however, the old porcelain manufactory of the Ginori family at Doccia was one of Europe’s finest ceramic factories. During the nineteenth century, they used eighteenth-century patterns and directly copied the models from the former Naples royal porcelain manufactory. However, from 1849, under the direction of the young Marquis Lorenzo II, the factory focused on the production of neo-Baroque porcelain in the style of Meissen and Capodimonte, and the creation of faience based on native Renaissance majolica models. Doccia’s production of industrial ceramics, such as insulators, produced after 1872, as well as the typical table services, inkstands, and toiletry sets, ensured the company’s financial survival. The Doccia ceramics laboratories were instrumental in the successful revival of Renaissance majolica using the genuine pottery-making and decorative techniques of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Doccia’s artists painted both colorful religious or historical scenes and figures (istoriati) and grotesque ornament (raphaelesche) on the white tin-glazed background. Lorenzo Ginori’s head chemist, Giusto Giusti, also developed a type of lusterware in 1847 based on sixteenth-century wares made in Gubbio. This too quickly became a popular hallmark of the firm. At the 1855 Paris Universal Exposition the manufactory was awarded a medal for its majolica with ruby luster, increasing the demand for this ceramic and ensuring the firm’s financial success. Beginning in 1849 with about 100 workers, the Doccia factories employed about 900 people by 1880, including 65 women in the decoration department.5

The renewed interest and fashion for the Renaissance style, which increased after the mid-nineteenth century, led to a comprehensive revival of fifteenth- through seventeenth-century Italian majolica that embraced the locally distinctive styles of the Florence, Faenza, Deruta, and Gubbio potteries. In addition to painted wall plates, the many decorative vessel forms created during the nineteenth century satisfied the urban taste for bibelots: tazzas, vessels on lion’s paws with dolphins as lid handles, steins and jugs with mascarons on the spouts, and scroll or snake handles, all with rich, decorative painting.

In the area of historicist art ceramics, national competition for Doccia’s business began only after 1878 with the Cantagalli majolica works near Florence. In 1833, the factory, with thirty artistic workers, was already producing technically outstanding imitations of old Italian majolica lusterwares and was adding new designs using grandiose figures and imaginative ornament. Their famous sales catalogue of 1895 displayed an impressive array of factory works based on Persian, Japanese, Spanish, and Arabian models.6 Many other Italian ceramics manufactories—such as Minghetti, founded by Angelo Minghetti, or Spinacci, founded by Giovanni Spinacci, who copied late-sixteenth-century Urbino ceramics and won international exhibition prizes for their imitations of Renaissance majolica—were small family operations that could not seriously compete with Doccia.7

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the fame of France as a ceramics production center was guaranteed primarily by the success of the Royal (at times Imperial) Porcelain Manufactory at Sèvres. The manufactory, financed by the monarchy, could afford to hire renowned, highly skilled artists to design and decorate their wares. Housing a modern laboratory occupied by specialized chemists, Sèvres also influenced the scientific progressive character of historicist and Art Nouveau porcelain.8

Privately owned French ceramics factories—for example those in Sarreguemines, Limoges, Foecy, and Gien—also flourished during the nineteenth century, responding to the bourgeoisie’s growing demand for varied ceramic forms and styles of decoration. By 1878 C. H. Pillivuyt and Company, founded in Foecy in 1802, already had 1,500 workers and several factory branches at different locations. They specialized in the production of porcelain tablewares as well as high-quality luxury wares made in a variety of current styles and intended for display at world exhibitions. In contrast to the state manufactory at Sèvres, Pillivuyt developed technological methods of production that made it possible to manufacture these high-quality porcelain products including a stenciled variation of the pâte-sur-pâte reliefs first made at Sèvres.9

The faience factory in Choisy-le-Roi, founded in 1804, was taken over by Hippolyte Boulenger in the early 1860s and joined the ranks of the leading French decorative ceramics firms. In 1867 the factory operated with 300 workers, and by 1885 this number had swelled to 900. Among the 770 employed in 1878, only 25 were actively making art ceramics. As in other nineteenth-century ceramic manufactories, the production of architectural and industrial ceramics, and of cheaply printed household tableware predominated. At the same time the earthenware decorative pieces produced in the Renaissance revival, Baroque, and orientalized styles also enjoyed a good reputation and remained factory standards.10

In 1865, Geoffroy, Guérin and Company, a manufactory for household faience founded in 1822 and located in Gien, Loiret, also included high-quality decorative earthenware ceramics in its production line and began to produce orientalized vessels in 1876. Above all, however, it produced variants of the eighteenth century French faience style from Rouen. The need to manufacture series of decorative objects at reasonable prices for the rising middle classes was solved by using the old process of transfer printing, cutting down on the hand-manufacturing process. In contrast, the finer ware’s carefully printed ornament was reworked and enhanced manually at Gien, which employed 450 workers in 1867.11

The official report of the 1867 Paris Exposition names the firm Villeroy and Boch as the only significant German ceramic enterprise active during the nineteenth century. Villeroy and Boch should actually be called a union of several eighteenth- to nineteenth-century factories whose roots can be traced to the border regions of Germany, Luxembourg, and France. In the 1880s, Villeroy and Boch consisted of eight factories with four thousand workers in all. The primary factories were the Mettlach factory (glazed earthenware and stoneware dishes and decorated vessels), the Wallerfangen/Vaudrevange (English-style frit porcelain, a type of soft-paste ceramic that used glass in its composition and was decorated with transfer printing), the Dresden factory (“majolica,” after the English patterned colored glazes, and porcelain), and the Merzig factory (terracotta figures). The production of architectural and industrial ceramics was distributed among several of the Villeroy and Boch factories. Decorative vessels and plates embellished in historicist styles were manufactured, using carefully devised and tested industrial pottery-making techniques and an extensive range of variations in colors and forms. Fine stoneware could be colored, glazed, and embellished with transfer-printed, painted, or chromolithographed decoration. In this way, fine art hand-decorations were successfully combined with industrial processes.12 In 1885 the factory added a particularly successful stoneware that used incised outlines to decorate tankards with figurative motifs and, later, Art Nouveau decorations.

In the early years of the German empire, around 1871, quite a few private entrepreneurs between the Rhineland and Franconia also attempted to produce ceramics on a large scale. Ultimately, however, this production did not attain the quality or fame of the traditional royal porcelain manufactories of Meissen and Berlin, which dedicated themselves to the preservation of their eighteenth-century design models and only occasionally developed brilliant “exhibition pieces” in different historical revival styles.13

Some of the mid-nineteenth-century German ceramic factories failed. The Royal Bavarian Manufactory was leased in 1862 to private operators with little ambition to produce new styles. In 1864 the famous Imperial Royal Porcelain Manufactory in Vienna, which had produced neoclassical wares and was perhaps the best of all the porcelain manufactories in the German-speaking region, was closed because of its inability to make a profit. However, privately owned porcelain factories of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in Bohemia (Schlaggenwald, Pirkenhammer, and so on) and in Herend, Hungary, continued to flourish because they exported their ornamental porcelain and Vienna-style decorated services, some of which were—like those at Herend—direct copies of eighteenth-century Vienna and Meissen porcelain. These factories may owe their economic survival to the fact that they avoided working in a progressive manner.14

In the international competition for the contemporary ceramic market, once historicism had run its stylistic course, Austria-Hungary became the world’s ceramic leader through the production of ceramics rather than porcelain. No firm could compete with the grandiose development of Zsolnay, although smaller Austro-Hungarian enterprises did try to survive in the international market and remain competitive. The tableware factory of Alois Klammerth, founded in 1832, flourished with faience production in Moravian Znaim, located between Vienna and Prague. Shortly before the death of Klammerth in 1878, his chemical experiments with ceramic compositions and techniques led to a porcelainlike, fired stoneware, which was then decorated with colors fired in a muffle kiln, with a luster glaze and smalt (a blue ceramic pigment made of silica, potash, and cobalt oxide).15

Besides the large enterprises, only a few of which are mentioned here, interesting smaller ceramics studios were also at work, especially in France. From time to time, these small factories developed prototypes that brought their creators the attention of exhibition jurors and art critics for a short time (for example, Pull, Laurin, and Caranza) before they fell once more into obscurity. In fact it was studio potters, including those at Zsolnay, who made the most interesting contributions to Japonisme, and to whom we owe the developmental shift from historicism to Art Nouveau.16

An unusual type of ceramic known as Hafnerware attracted the greatest attention of ceramicists during the early years of historicism. Introduced by Minton in 1851, it was revived in the 1870s by these later ceramicists to become a consumer success for decades. Renaissance-style decorated vessels made of low-fired earthenware, covered with foliage and small animals molded in high relief and then overpainted with colorful lead glazes, formed the specialty of an inventive sixteenth-century French artisan named Bernard Palissy. Palissy’s popular works were imitated in ceramics and metal well into the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Even as late as 1830, the potter Jean-Charles Avisseau became enthusiastic about these Mannerist celebrations of nature and experimented for over a decade before succeeding in firing his exquisitely modeled plates with plants and reptiles in the manner of Palissy. With a larger modern palette of colors and finer glazes, Avisseau admittedly far exceeded his prototype’s capabilities.17 For a time after his success, the “rustic figures” of the mysterious genius Palissy stimulated many ceramicists to analyze Palissy’s compositions and glazes and to “reinvent” them in lengthy experiments. While the strongly colored Hafnerwares displayed by Viennese firms in 1873 overshadowed the Palissy revival style,18 the popularity of these Renaissance-inspired wares continued, and even the Zsolnay factory produced such designs from 1875 to 1880.

Minton had already shown that a factory could employ strongly colored glazes for decorative vessels that recalled Palissy only through the application of figural modeled parts. From the beginning, these ceramics sold in England under the trade name “Majolica,” which was typically used for pottery covered with colored lead glazes, but not for Italian tin-glazed ceramics.19 For over thirty years, Minton was known for the production of this neo Renaissance ware covered in glazes in picturesque as well as bizarre forms.

The German and Austrian ceramic style of the 1820s to 1840s Biedermier period mostly used a brilliant color palette which continued through the end of this era of historicism. The transparency of lead glazes, which survived even in darker colors, was apparent in the so-called émaux ombrants produced from 1838/39 to 1857 by the small manufactory of Baron P. Ch. DeBourgoing in French Rubelles. Their most frequent products were bowls, plates, and platters with strong monochromatic fruits and leaf motifs, genre, landscapes, or half-figures, occasionally in Rococo frames. The motifs were incised as flat reliefs in wax tablets and transferred via stencils to earthenware. A covering of transparent colored glaze led to camaïeu images, producing a monochrome painterly effect appearing darker when the glaze filled the incised areas, and lighter as it spread out thin on the flatter fields.20 Various European ceramic factories later modified and employed the DeBourgoing patented process. Even at Zsolnay, this “shadow work” technique was adapted for an essentially more reserved kind of decoration.

True Renaissance ceramic painting designs, especially in the form of colorful grotesques on white tin-glazed background derived from old Urbino majolica models, were used on plates to decorate chimney frames and in furniture inlay. The grotesques painted on ceramics, the “Raphaelesque” work, became particularly widespread in Italy by the 1850s. Outside Italy, the more self-conscious manufactories preferred to adapt the technique and porcelain painting style using non-historicist contemporary motifs, as Minton did in 1855 for a famous plate with the portrait of the young Queen Victoria.21

A popular genre of bowls with idealized portraits of young girls created by Italian majolica painters in the early sixteenth century was revived in the most splendid manner in the workshop of Joseph-Théodore Deck.22 Undoubtedly the most significant and multitalented nineteenth-century ceramicist who celebrated historicism, Deck attracted painters from his native Alsace to work in his Paris pottery. He further refined the majolica genre by developing unique ceramic decorating techniques such as brilliant underglaze painting, colored glazes, lusters, and gold-grounds inspired by mosaics. Deck and artists from other northern ceramic manufactories often transformed the “bella-donna” beauties of Italy into Nordic women wearing the so-called Holbein costume, such as a bowl from the Klammerth firm in Znaim, created before 1880, or Júlia Zsolnay’s design of 1882.23 After the 1870s, figures of knights, peasants , and noble women, inspired by copper engravings from the time of Dürer and Holbein, appeared as “Old German” motifs on earthenware tankards and jugs made in German-speaking lands.24

For their Renaissance-style designs, ceramic modelers after the 1870s and 1880s had access to a wealth of historical material and antecedents, in decorative arts museums and trade schools that competed to provide original old patterns and reproduction models to designers. The institutes, museums, and schools that shaped the tastes of the populace did not merely adopt Renaissance pictorial motifs, which at best had nostalgic value, but also tried to come to terms with the rich legacy of Renaissance ornament: the light, extensively developed vine scroll decorative motifs, arabesques, grotesques, and strapwork depicted in symmetrically arranged fields and borders.

The mining of Renaissance ornament as design sources for nineteenth-century ceramics factories was extended to include earlier traditional folk art decoration. Complicated natural motifs from past artistic regional styles and traditions depicted on peasant feast-day ceramics, embroidery, and painting were repeated in different, simplified, stylized variations. After the 1870s, industrial ceramic production occasionally rediscovered and borrowed from the fertile sources of ornamental folk art, with examples to be found from such large factories as Doulton’s and smaller workshops as well. Among the most individual works made at the Klammerth firm, which had close ties with the young Museum fur Kunst und Industrie in Vienna, were tin-glazed faience wares that combined the patterns of traditional folk art with white-ground majolica, delftware, and French faience of the eighteenth century.25 Models and design sources from southern European folk art admittedly played a more extensive and lasting role in Zsolnay’s design output and represented an especially innovative accomplishment for the firm in comparison with other factories at the same time.

A powerful design source, which greatly expanded the European ornamental style and extended the palette, came from the Islamic world. After the 1860s, the public awareness and the designer’s knowledge of the diverse types of decorative arts from the old Ottoman Empire increased through Eastern-style exhibitions and the availability of imports from the Middle East. After the mid-1870s, and even more after the 1880s, comprehensive model books that categorically depicted different types of Islamic ceramics facilitated their adaptation by European ceramicists.26 At the 1873 Vienna World Exhibition an overwhelming abundance of Turkish and Persian wares and rugs were shown, which along with Ottoman artistic sources, inspired European metal, glass, and ceramic luxury goods. Contemporary nineteenth-century ceramicists were excited by sixteenth-century bowls and jugs, whose origin was at the time thought to be the island of Rhodes. Today it is known that these objects were made in Iznik; they are characterized by highly colored stylized carnations and tulips, flower clusters, featherlike leaflets, and cypresses in framing borders of simplified blossoms, painted against a white base. Only a few experienced and ambitious ceramic designers and technicians attempted to analyze and reproduce this ware, which was so different from European faience. At the Paris Universal Exposition in 1867 Deck displayed technologically exact copies of this “Rhodes” ware in which the stylized flower motifs were painted in the characteristic colors of red, turquoise, green, and black on a white slip background covered with a fine lead glaze.

Few nineteenth-century ceramics workshops, including Zsolnay, withstood the temptation to imitate or at least create variants of the bright-colored “Rhodes”-style ceramics introduced by Deck.27 In most cases, however, the colorful decoration was translated in more subdued colors onto a white base or transfer-printed at low cost onto faience, stoneware, or porcelain, losing the brilliance characteristic of the hand-painted prototypes. In 1877-78 the Zsolnay sisters also discovered Islamic artistic design in the Vienna Museum für Kunst und Industrie. Through their efforts and the technical skill of Zsolnay employees, the Zsolnay factory’s Islamic-inspired designs surpassed that of other factories. By 1882, their Islamic style-ware was decorated with brightly colored heat-resistant underglaze pigments and lusters, and examples from Zsolnay’s soon entered into the large European museum collections.28

The gold outlines frequently used in Zsolnay’s Ottoman and East Asian-style objects could be understood as a sublimation of another traditional Islamic technique: the cuerda-seca, or relief enamel with contours, in which the motif’s individual color fields were separated from one another by glaze-repelling lines that prevented the enamel fields from running into one another. French ceramicists had also become acquainted with the cuerda-seca method in the 1860s by studying Turkish ceramic production. Ceramic designer Léon Parvillé was most familiar with the Turkish style because during the early 1860s he had restored historical memorials with tile facings in Istanbul and Bursa.29 The introduction of this technique to nineteenth-century French ceramic production, however, is usually credited to Eugène Collinot, who borrowed the technique and displayed it as “cloisonné work” at the 1867 Paris Universal Exposition.30

One of the most beautiful adaptations of Islamic ceramic design motifs was made by the English potter William De Morgan. In 1869 he devoted himself to craft production influenced by his admiration for William Morris’s reform movement known as Arts and Crafts that emphasized a return to handwork production methods. De Morgan’s assembled ceramic tile panels and richly decorated vessels display his unique interpretation of Islamic and Far Eastern motifs. His strongly colored compositions of birds, fish, mythical creatures, vases, and flowers (among them, chrysanthemums and dahlias) often form an ornamental ground as dense as a carpet. De Morgan experimented with glaze chemistry for years to develop the copper and gold luster he admired on traditional Islamic faience and Italian majolica, and in 1882 he succeeded in creating the brilliant effect by adding certain metallic salts to the kiln’s reductive fire. He even was able to produce two luster colors on one vase: a bluish or yellow silver luster and a deep red copper luster.31

The art of Eastern Asia also inspired factory designers, and its motifs were adapted to ceramics throughout Europe. Although textiles and metalwork from British India, already seen by decorative artists in London at the 1851 Great Exhibition, stimulated local textile production, it held little value for imitation in ceramics. Nevertheless, detailed Indian ivory carvings, together with Persian imports, were imitated in a yellowish porcelain with a kind of engraved decoration. The English Worcester porcelain manufactory in “particular had success with this rather strange, technically brilliant style, and the Zsolnay factory also produced porcelain faience from 1889 in the “old ivory” genre.32

Of all the international styles, Japanese and Chinese provided the richest design source for ceramic decoration and development. After about 1860, the art trade in European cities offered East Asian textiles and metalworks, porcelains, and woodcuts that received extraordinary public attention. Asian-influenced European decorative arts were popularized in designs shown at the 1867 Paris Universal Exposition.33

Impressions and designs loosely based on Far Eastern examples flowed together into a style that today is too narrowly designated as “Japonisme.” It has little to do with the long-lasting chinoiserie fashion of the eighteenth century, which was a historically inaccurate montage of Asian motifs based on a deeply poetic approach to the Orient.34 Like Islamic-influenced European decorative arts, Japonisme affected European ceramics in a more positive way through the refinement of techniques and the adaptation of East Asian ceramics forms. Beyond that, it also changed the European conception of the rules of formal composition. European artists took from Japanese graphics a renunciation of Western rules of composition, and through Japonisme also returned to natural motifs.

Classical pictorial composition based on axial symmetry, decoration focused on the individual parts of the vessel, and European ornamentation revived from a centuries-old tradition—all these lost their compelling design logic when compared to Asian design with its naturalistic asymmetry. After 1870, French and English ceramicists first began to decorate the entire surface of a vessel with small hints of nature: the sketch of a gnarled, blossoming cherry tree branch roughly jutting into the wide field of the vessel belly or plate surface, animated only by a small, crouching bird, large blossom, or butterflies; a golden pheasant nestling between anemones and cherry branches displaced to the lower border of a vase; two roosters depicted in different perspectives but still dramatically relating to each other in a picture plane between fields and grasses. Just like the narrow ornamental borders of many vessels based directly on Far Eastern porcelain, the isolated, small natural motifs on an abstract ground used on this revival style can also be found on Chinese porcelain from the K’ang-hsi Period (1662-1722) or later. While other popular motifs borrowed from Chinese porcelains were of the famille rose or famille verte types, after the 1860s the manufacturers and studios used whatever authentic Asian examples they could find, Chinese as well as Japanese, as models.

Beautiful adaptations of East Asian forms were decorated by artists at firms that had been successful with Islamic imagery, including Théodore Deck, Eugène Collinot, and Pillivuyt in France, Doulton and Minton in England, and other porcelain manufacturers elsewhere. Vilmos Zsolnay was again fortunate, as he had been with his company’s products based on Ottoman influence. Zsolnay’s Asian style designs were produced at the same time as the larger factories’ versions, if not earlier, thanks to having hired “a pair of Chinese workers” who could decor ate his pro ducts with the “new motifs.”35

Other ceramics factories also looked for direct Asian inspiration. The Longwy manufactory hired Amédé de Caranza from the court of the emperor of Japan. Caranza had introduced eastern motifs after 1872 in the cloisonné enamel technique of Chinese Ming porcelain. This technique was, in fact, none other than the cuerda-seca technique of Islamic pottery, with bright, translucent, relief enamels. Even more direct contact was made by French ceramicists Lefront at Fontainebleau and Hippolyte Boulenger at Choisy-le-Roi, who after 1885 secured the cooperation of the Japanese painter Fuji Gazo.36

At the same time, very effective Japanese motifs were produced by a small faience manufactory called Laurin in Bourg-la-Reine. At this factory, one of the most individual ceramicists of the time, Eugène Chaplet, worked with thick colored clay slips (barbotine) on unglazed earthenware. Chaplet and his team applied barbotine to the vessel bodies, creating well-known motifs in a pre-Impressionist manner of great coloristic delicacy.37 In 1879 Alexander Schmidt reported that barbotine painting had moved through the ceramic scene “like a storm,” with more or less fortunate results.38

As in the eighteenth century, an East Asian or Oriental style was achieved by the sculptural applications of branches, leaves, or insects on the vessel, or by modeling the vessel itself or parts of it in the shapes of flowers, leaves, or fruits.39 Various manufacturers, including Zsolnay, produced exotic vases with sculptural dragons coiled around the bodies. Other vases had handles in the shapes of lions or elephants or were crowned with animal bodies.40 All of these were based on ceramic models found in Chinese artistic handwork. East Asia also became a dynamic source of ceramic vessel shapes—vases were thrown and shaped as balusters, flowers, bottles, gourds and onions, wine jugs, pots, pilgrim bottles, and tobacco tins—and decorated by appliqué, relief, and incision. Chinese and Japanese models also provided examples of glazes of virtually endless diversity for nineteenth-century factories to copy. The variety of Far Eastern sources adopted occasionally merged with those taken from Islam: for example, in 1858/59 Théodore Deck developed his first transparent colored glaze, a dark turquoise after the model of Ottoman ceramics, which quickly acquired renown as “blue Deck” and was used to decorate Chinese lion sculptures and dragon vases.41

Japanese tea ceremony ceramics, whose rough stoneware surfaces were decorated with nothing more than partial glaze flows, were influential at the 1878 Paris Universal Exposition. Whereas Deck previously had researched monochrome glazes to increase the effect of incised or painted decorations, from about 1880 colored glazes were introduced at exhibitions as the only decoration applied to a vessel. At about the same time Charles Lauth, a chemist at the Sèvres porcelain manufactory, and Hermann Seger in Berlin, successfully developed, after a Chinese model, the deep ox-blood red (or copper-oxide red) glaze that results from a reduction firing. Further colors of monochrome glazes, even black, quickly followed.42 In 1889 Ernest Chaplet showed ox-blood glaze on earthenware vessels; at the same time August Delaherche introduced flambé blue-red copper glazes.43

Within a few years every significant pottery and manufactory of stoneware and porcelain was working with colored glazes. After 1898, following the porcelain manufactories of Meissen and Berlin, several ceramic studios began to make a name for themselves in glazed ceramics, among them Jakob Julius Scharvogel in Munich and Richard and Hermann Mutz in Altona and Berlin.44 They experimented in creating formulas, using various fluxing materials, and manipulating the kiln firing execution. They produced running, flamed, and spotted overlays, developing snakeskin, fur, precious stone, and amberlike effects and making shimmering lusters and crystals. Crystals, formerly considered failures, were employed in 1886 for the first time at the Royal Porcelain Manufactory in Copenhagen as an artistic means of animating colored glazes.45

This kind of glaze decoration paid homage to the pure form of the vessel, or—seen differently—it changed the form of the vessel into a mere structural support of abstract color studies. With this shift, the search by nineteenth-century ceramics factories for newer and newer, or older and more distant, methods of decoration reached its conclusion. The demonstration of beauty that was developed purely out of the ceramic material’s composition or form made other methods obsolete. The new vessels of pure form and chromatic color mark the end of historicism and the beginning of a new style. Creative artists of the avant-garde turned to nature for inspiration (while the factories continued to offer historicist pieces for some time).

All kinds of bridges led from the historicizing Japonisme style to nature-focused Art Nouveau. Most proponents of modern studio ceramics showed an inclination to sculpture, even if they were not all, like Jean Carriès, trained sculptors. In the late 1890s, the chemist and ceramicist Alexandre Bigot made colored glazes run from the rim into flat bowls, forming dark, shimmering pools in the bottom. The evocation of all sorts of creatures became one of the most important themes in the ceramics of Art Nouveau. On this mysterious, natural ground, the familiar Chinese snakes, lizard, and frogs attained the new character of half-mystical natural symbols. Modeled like sculpture, these creatures developed from the sides of vessels, often climbing up out of waves or soil, the plants forming knobs and handles, or changing the body of the vase into a socle of sculptural objects. The repertoire of forms extended from small reptiles to pairs of human lovers or dancers.46

The Scandinavians were the first porcelain manufacturers to develop naturalistically modeled elements for their Art Nouveau ceramics. In 1888/89 the painter Arnold Krog, then director of the traditional Royal Porcelain Manufactory in Copenhagen, came to public attention with his simple vases and bowls that were entirely influenced by Japanese porcelain.47 Krog’s artists, however, painted the water plants and animals of their Nordic homeland in a stylized manner isolated on the white porcelain ground and combined with fish, crabs, and reptiles. The visual impact of the vessels’ strangely poetic naturalism, beside which sculpture of the same animal motifs arose, was intensified by the delicately colored under glaze painting developed in Copenhagen. During this time of great public admiration for Japanese art, this charming Scandinavian style was met with approval and imitation, as other Nordic manufacturers like Bing and Grøndahl in Denmark and Rörstand in Sweden individually adopted the varied designs. The summarily modeled, coolly lustrous figures, and bizarrely relieved vessels from Copenhagen and Stockholm have remained influential.

Around 1900 the artistic trend toward a stylized naturalism in sculptural form connected all branches of the decorative arts, including silver metalwork, pewter,48 and above all, art glass. Emile Gallé, who after 1864 revolutionized the style of studio glass, was originally involved in the production of ceramics. In 1864 he had begun to modernize the neo-Baroque faience production of his father’s manufactory in Nancy by using botanical decorations.49 The art glass vessels, which he designed from the middle of the l880s, were stylized in the sense of Japonisme, with differentiated reliefs of lively plants.50 They rely, however, on studies of flora from Gallé’s native Lorraine, which he carried out so accurately that they qualified for publication in the natural sciences. Passionately devoted to botany, and deeply moved by the diversity of living creatures and their evolution, Gallé was also influenced by the Symbolism of his time. In his ceramic studies, he especially perceived manifold possibilities of meaning; and in connection with that, he preferred complex plants, such as the acanthus thistle or Lorraine orchid growing in the wild.51 The transformation into complex overlay and marquetry technique of colored glass worked in multiple layers and then reworked with great refinement made an essential contribution to the effect of his designs.52 Gallé’s creations not only had an extensive impact on the art of glass, but also, strengthened by the sculptural character of many vessels with their intense, opaque coloration, had a stronger effect on many other ceramic artists than did the lightly colored “Copenhagen” porcelain.

Art Nouveau produced a second revolutionary of glass art, Louis Comfort Tiffany of New York. Like Gallé, Tiffany treated form and decoration as a complex unity, creating his studio glass with colored overlays and partial meltings in and over the surface. He decisively increased their effect by decorating them with a delicate finish of iridescent metallic salt deposits, giving new life to one of the central techniques of historicist ceramics as well as glass. Tiffany exceeded by far the school of Nancy in his invention of organic forms. He shaped thin glass bubbles into soft, richly curved vessels, strange tulip calyxes, flowering bulbs, and gourds, adorning them with linear sepals and blossoms. Or he overgrew compact, simple vase forms with supple leaves and blossoms on long stems, shimmering in delicate color compositions of strong lustrous brilliance.53 After an exhibition of Tiffany’s glass in Bohemian Reichenberg in 1898, the Johann Lötz Witwe foundry in Klostermühle endeavored to imitate the iridescent calyx glasses, peacock feather decoration, and other techniques with rapid success. They were soon followed by other Bohemian glass foundries. Unquestionably, the 1898 series of tulip vases with “eosin” glaze, a complex iridescent glaze made with metallic oxides fired in reduction and a speciality of the Zsolnay factory, arose from an awareness of Tiffany’s sensational glass and their Bohemian successors.54

The intensive efforts at Zsolnay that revolved around the perfection of the shimmering “eosin” may have been spurred on by the fame of the French luster ceramic in Art Nouveau. Its uncontested master was Clément Massier in Golfe-Juan, a successor to an old pottery dynasty Vallauris, a neighboring ceramic center in the south of France. In 1889 Massier impressed reporters at the Paris Universal Exposition with his faience vessels decorated with stylized plant decoration in luster colors. Massier did not content himself with the repetition of successful reduction firings, but rather mixed sulfurous silver or copper with various earthen colors. Then he reworked his ceramics in a darkening smolder firing while matting the shiny parts with acid etching. His faience was very distinctive in its deep, dark coloration, extending from blood-red to violet, and its painting en camaieu either of plant motifs or abstract brush strokes; it clearly belongs to Art Nouveau. However, Massier’s fanatical work on improving and developing technological processes belongs entirely to the tradition of ceramic craftsmen of the era of historicism.55 At the end of the 1880s, the brilliant Danish technician Herman Kähler of Naestved created and presented a broad spectrum of luster ceramics to the north of Europe. His repertoire included: simple bowls and vases; imitations of tribal art vessels, Copenhagen porcelain, and French stoneware vessels with modeled appliqués; and freestanding sculpture. He handled luster glazes, as with luster painting on stoneware and with faience, in a masterful manner.56

Many of the firms that dominated the exhibitions and markets in historicism shifted somewhat hesitantly to Art Nouveau (for example, Minton’s only from 1902); while others produced outstanding pioneer accomplishments (as at Sèvres and Meissen). The vigor of Art Nouveau artists inspired many novice craftsmen to venture into the ceramic market, where some quickly foundered despite impressive artistic ability. From the middle of the 1890s, the Rozenburg faience manufactory, founded in 1883 in The Hague, developed a clearly recognizable, individual style under the direction of Jurriaan Kok. Large, solid, often impressively shaped vessels with vigorous handles were entirely covered with powerful color decorations. Following neither classical nor Japanese rules of composition, the asymmetrical decoration is like a puzzle whose parts, made of flowers, birds, or insects, break up the negative space in wavelike loosely sagging, or winding contours. Under a brilliant but usually dark glaze, the colors gleam—blue, green, brown, and violet, next to rare yellow.57

In the pursuit of their own product style, the Dutch ceramicists approached the R. St. K. Amphora Works in north Bohemian Turn-Teplitz. Numerous ceramics firms had settled there, such as Ernst Wahliss, and it had been the site of a technical school for ceramics since 1874. From 1892 to 1910, the Amphora factories, which were built upon an older porcelain workshop, won high awards for their porcelain, faience, earthenware, and stoneware at international exhibitions. The abundance of complex and complicated decorative processes developed for Amphora—heat-resistant underglaze pigments, inlays and overlays, slip frails, running glazes, luster, and conspicuous gold decorations—led to long-lasting success. In 1900, 95 percent of the factories output was exported, especially to the United States.58

In the case of Amphora and in a certain sense that of Dutch ceramics, the large, robust vessels and posterlike, strongly colored decorations heralded a turning away from the artistic refinement of Art Nouveau. In possession of all the technical possibilities and with a knowledge of all the aesthetic accomplishments of history and of nature, the workshops and manufactories in the ensuing years pursued stylistic development along their own paths, becoming more and more independent from the market. The Zsolnay manufactory, which had been an active participant in the realm of historcist form and decoration, became equally active in the pursuit of its own version of Art Nouveau and later expressions of modernism.

© Bard Graduate Center, Barabara Mundt.


1.P. C. W. Beuth and F. Schinkel, Vorbilder für Fabrikanten und Handwerker (Models for manufacturers and craftspeople), Technische Deputation für Gewerbe (Berlin, 1831): foreword.

2.For this, see the Art Journal Illustrated Catalogues, 1858-1878, Rapports du jury 1858-1881, and similar contemporary analyses, collected for example in Les Arts de 1851 à 1900 à travers les expositions universelles (Geneva, 1988).

3.D. Eyles, Royal Doulton, 1815-1965 (London, 1975), with artists’ monographs and further literature; Paul Atterbury and Louise Irvine, The Doulton Story, exh. cat., Victoria and Albert Museum (London, 1979); Joycelyn Lukins, Doulton for the Collector (Burton upon Trent, 1993).

4.Joan Jones, Minton: The First Two Hundred Years of Design and Production (Shrewsbury, 1993); Elizabeth Aslin and Paul Atterbury, Minton, 1798-1910, exh. cat., Victoria and Albert Museum (London, 1976): 43-47, “Majolica Wares”; Marilyn G. Karmason and Joan B. Stack, Majolica: A Complete History and Illustrated Survey (New York, 1989): esp. 31-68. A good contemporary depiction of the incomparable diversity of Minton is by Alexander Schmidt, Die Keramik auf der Pariser Weltausstellung 1878 (Berlin, 1879): 93-103.Victoria Bergesen, Majolica: British, Continental and American Wares (London, 1989), absurdly leaves out the early French Palissists as sources of inspiration.

5.Giuseppi Cantelli and Gabrille Mancini, “Rinascimento” nella maiolica Ginori nell’Ottocento, exh. cat., Galleria Istituto d’Arte (Siena, 1994); Raffaele Monti et al., La manifattura Richard-Ginori (Rome and Milan, 1988).

6.See Petra Krutisch and Johanna Lessmann, Im Sinne der Alten: Italienische Majolika des Historismus (Lemgo and Hamburg, 1995): 90-143; Giovanni Conti and Gilda Cefariello Grosso, La maiolica Cantagalli e le manifatture ceramiche fiorentine (Rome, 1990).

7.See Krutisch and Lessmann, Sinne der Alten (1995): 51-55 for Spinacci; and 60-75 for Minghetti. On Minghetti, see also Nicoletta Barbernini and Mathilde Conti, Ceramiche artistiche Minghetti (Sasso Marconi, 1994). In general, see Giovanni Conti, Mostra della maiolica toscana. Le imitazioni ottocentesche (Monte San Savino, 1974).

8.After Alexandre Brongniart (director 1800-1847) had carried through the shift from soft to hard porcelain at the beginning of the nineteenth century, his successor Jacques-Joseph Ebelmen (1848-52) set this aside for a relatively low-fire China porcelain composition. Long before the actual Chinese fashion, Sèvres had China porcelains in its production program—for example, with openwork sides or with monochrome glaze. The technical directors Charles Lauth (1879-87) and Théodore Deck (1887-91) added further variously usable compositions and decorative techniques. For Sèvres in the nineteenth century, see Marcelle Brunet and Tamara Préaud, Sèvres: Des origines à nos jours (Fribourg, 1978): 241-304.

9.Friedrich Jaennicke, Gnmdriss der Keramik (Stuttgart, 1879): 842: “the most significant French porcelain factory of the current time,” with 1,500 workers. Schmidt, Keramik auf der Pariser (1879): 45 ff.; Barbara Mundt, Historismus: Kunsthandwerk und Industrie im Zeitalter der Weltausstellungen, exh . cat., Kunstgewerbemuseum (Berlin, 1973): supplement, see “Pillivuyt.”

10.Doris Möllers, Der islamische Einfluss auf Glas und Keramik im französischen Historismus (Frankfurt, 1992): 110 ff.; Marielle Ernoult-Gandouet, La Céramique en France au XIXe siècle (Paris, 1969): 89; Mundt, Historismus (1973), supplement, see “H. Boulenger manufactory.”

11.Roger Bernard and Jean-Claude Renard, La Faience de Gien (Paris, 1981).

12.Thérèse Thomas, Villeroy & Boch, 1748-1930: Keramik aus der Produktion zweier Jahrhunderte, exh. cat., Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam, 1977); Villeroy & Boch, 1748-1985: Art et industrie céramique, exh. cat., Musée National de Céramique Sèvres (Paris, 1985).

13.See in general Antoinette Fay-Hallé and Barbara Mundt, Europäisches Porzellan vom Klassizismus bis zum Jugendstil (Fribourg, 1983): esp. 188-200, 257-68; Hermann Jedding, Meissener Porzellan des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts (Munich, 1981).

14.Herend specialized in technically unobjectionable copies of porcelain from Meissen, Vienna, Capo di Monte, and Sèvres. Moritz Fischer (director 1836/39-76) also had success in the 1850s with his services and decorated pieces after Chinese porcelain. See Gyozo Sikota, Herend: Manufaktur der Ungarischen Porzellankunst Herend (Manufactory of Hungarian porcelain art) (Budapest, 1973). A contemporary discussion can be found in Schmidt, Keramik auf der Pariser (1879): 165 ff. For Vienna and the private porcelain factories in Thuringia and Austria-Hungary, see Fay-Hallé and Mundt, Europäisches Porzellan (1983): 200-205, with literature.

15.See Schmidt, Keramik auf der Pariser (1879): 151-53.There is also a reference there to the Franz Slowak manufactory in Znaim, which operated similarly, and to the Schütz brothers in Cilli and Olmütz.

16.See Französische Keramik zwischen, 1850 und 1910: Sammlung Maria und Hans-Jörgen Heuser (Hamburg and Munich, 1974); Geneviève Becquart and Dominique Szymusiak, Du second empire à l’art nouveau: La Création céramique dans les musées du Nord-Pas-de-Calais (Lille, 1986).

17.For Avisseau, see Sophie Guillot de Suduirot, “Poteries décoratives à Tours au XIXe siècle,” in La Céramique dans la region centre de l’époque gallo-romaine au XXe siècle (Tours, 1980): 105-11.

18.In France in the workshops of George Pull, A. Barbizet, and T. V Sergent in Paris, later in the factories of Sarreguemines, Choisy le Roi, and Gien; in Sweden at Rörstrand, in Germany at J. von Schwarz in Nuremberg and Villeroy & Boch; in Italy in several factories in Naples, at C. Miliani in Fabriano, etc. Julius Lessing, Das Kunstgewerbe auf der Wiener Weltausstellung 1873 (Berlin, 1874): 190: “of questionable popularity.” For “Palissy”–ware at Zsolnay, see Éva Csenkey, Zsolnay-Keramiek: Historisme, Art Nouveau, Art Déco (Gent, 1988): nos. 8 ff.; and Éva Hárs, Zsolnaya Keramikfabrik Pécs (Budapest, 1997): 75 ff.; English ed. trans. Éva Moskovszky as Zsolnay Ceramics Factory, Pécs (Budapest, 1997).

19.At Minton, the work at the beginning was with the opaque tin glazes normal for the old Italian majolica and only later went over to the application of the more brilliant transparent lead glazes. For Minton’s “majolica,” see also Karmason and Stack, Majolica (1989): 31-68; 198-202, for the technique. The German and Swiss Hafnerware technically related to the Palissy ceramics found imitators and devotees especially in the German-speaking region.

20.Alix de Ravel d’Esclapon, La Faience de Rubelles (Le Mée-sur-Seine, 1988). On Zsolnay, see Csenkey, Zsolnay Keramiek (1988): 19, no. 11.

21.Aslin and Atterbury, Minton (1976): 53, color illus. 1; Barbara Mundt, Historismus: Kunstgewerbe zwischen Biedermeier und Jugendstil (Munich, 1981): illus. 160.

22.See the literature in nn. 5-8.

23.Deck was a highly talented chemist. He put a fine white faience ground at the disposal of his painters, on which they could work “as if on watercolor paper” (Schmidt, Keramik auf der Pariser [1879]: 48). The personally developed underglaze colors were fritted directly onto the biscuit shards and bonded firmly with them. Subsequently, a retouching was possible, before the final, entirely lead-free, brilliant alkali glaze was applied. On the gold ground, see ibid.: 54 ff.

24.Dresden, Kunstgewerbemuseum, see Mundt, Historismus (1981): 165, illus.

25.See Hárs, Zsolnaya Keramikfabrik (1997): 69, illus. For an 1883 grotesque painting design by Tádé Sikorski, see ibid.: 57. For “Old German” knights, a different Neo-Renaissance motif, for the most part usual in Hafnerware, see Designs from Kelemen Kaldeway and Armin Klein (1883): illus. 16 ff., 51 ff.

26.Especially extensive in the production of Villeroy & Boch, Mettlach; see Anton Post and Thérèse Thomas, Mettlacher Steinzeug, 1885-1905 (Saarwellingen, 1976). For a revival of Rhenish relief stoneware of the seventeenth century around 1870 in Rhineland, see Gisela Reineking von Bock, “Keramik,” in Kunst des 19. Jahrhunderts im Rheinland (Düsseldorf, 1981): 262-67.

27.For Klammerth, see Schmidt, Keramik auf der Pariser (1879): 151-53; examples for the taking up of folk art by a technical school are also in the Museum of Applied Arts in Prague.

28.Léon Parvillé, Architecture et décoration turques au XVe siècle (Paris, 1875); Adelbert de Beaumont and Eugène Collinot, Recueil de dessin pour l’art et l’industrie; Ornements arabes de la Chine du Japan de la Perse turcs (Paris, 1883), 2d ed.; individual models can also be found earlier in technical journals for the decorative arts.

29.Théodore Deck, ou l’éclat des émaux, 1823-1891, exh . cat., Musées de Marseille (1994): 34, illus. pp. 46-51. For Deck on Collinot’s inferior results, see ibid.: 33.

30.Hárs, Zsolnaya Keramikfabrik (1997): 69-71. An example of the bottle vase Hárs no. 42 from 1879 was acquired by the Berlin Kunstgewerbemuseum in 1883 and clearly shows red luster on the node. See Mundt, Historismus (1973): cat. no. 62.

31.Möllers, Islamische Einfluss auf Glas und Keramik (1992): 147-50; Zeynep Celik, Displaying the Orient (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1992): 95-106. See also Schmidt, Keramik auf der Pariser (1879): 59-61.

32.Möllers, lslamische Einflus auf Glas und Keramik (1992): 116, 119; Mundt, Historismus (1973): supplement, see “Collinot,” with contemporary literature. See also Annette Hagedorn, Auf der Suche nach dem neuen Stil: Der Einfluss der osmanischen Kunst auf die europäische Keramik im 19. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 1998): 48 ff. Théodore Deck (1994): 33 ff. For the transmission of artistic handwork cuerda-seca technique to rationalizing reprinting technology in Longwy around 1875, see Céramique Lorraine: Chefs d’oeuvre des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles—French Ceramics: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Masterpieces from Lorraine (Nancy, 1990): 221.

33.See Roger Pinkham, Catalogue of Pottery by William de Morgan, exh. cat., Victoria and Albert Museum (London, 1973); John Catleugh, William de Morgan (New York, 1983). For historicist luster tiles still being made in the 1920s by Pilkington, see A. J. Cross, Pilkington’s Royal Lancastrian Pottery and Tiles (London, 1980).

34.Henry Sandon, Royal Worcester Porcelain from 1862 to the Present Day (London, 1973): illus. 67-73, vessels from the 1880s, on which the sides or handles have openwork in complicated tendrils and arabesques. They immediately recall works by Tádé Sikorski from the same time period.

35.The esteem of this inclusion of new stimuli is attested by museum acquisitions—for example, for Berlin, see Mundt, Historismus (1973): cat. nos. 65, 66—and metalworks by Barbedienne and Christofle with enamel decoration.

36.The idealized Chinese genre scenes and landscapes developed in the eighteenth century had remained a common possession of the style of home furnishing far beyond the Biedermeier period—for example, in the English household earthenware services with reprints, and, at a higher level, in the Herend copies, for which there are examples in the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts. See Revival styles in the nineteenth century, exh. cat., Iparmuvészeti Muzeum (Budapest, 1992): cat. nos. 191 ff. East Asian porcelain—since the seventeenth century imported to Europe on a large scale—had never disappeared entirely from the perspective of the porcelain and earthenware manufacturers. Many vase forms, for example, had been in common possession for a long time. Jacqueline du Pasquier refers to the fact that the firms quickly took up the Japanese style for household tableware, which Felix Braquemont first formulated, in order to be able to meet effectively the import of modern wares from Japan: see du Pasquier, Ceramics bordelaises du XIXe siècle (Bordeaux, 1975): 98.

37.Hárs, Zsolnaya Keramikfabrik (1997): 68.

38.For Caranza’s origin in the “manufacture du Mikado,” see du Pasquier, Céramiques bordelaises (1975): 98. On the colored enamels, see Schmidt, Kerainik auf der Pariser (1879): 68-71. For Lefront, see Wilhelm Preker and Hildegard Preker, Bambus & Fächer / Bamboo and Fan: Keramik und Porzellan—China—Japan—Europa (Werl, 1997): nos. 532 ff.

39.Maddy Aries and Christian Gautier, Bourg-la-Reine: 150 ans de céramique: Des collections privées aux collections publiques (Sceaux, 1986): 101 ff., 132; Jean d’Albis, Ernest Chaplet, 1835-1905 (Paris, 1976): 17 ff.

40.Schmidt, Keramik auf der Pariser (1879): 64, also on the technique. When Chaplet at the end of 1875 moved to Charles Haviland at Auteuil near Paris, he instructed an extensive group of painters there in this technique, and the repertoire of pictorial motifs was expanded to all current themes, especially landscapes. In 1885 Zsolnay also displayed landscapes in the barbotine technique at the Budapest National Exhibition: see Hárs, Zsolnaya Keramikfabrik (1997): 76.

41.For example, in 1879 Haviland at Limoges made for the American president Rutherford B. Hayes a thousand-piece service with sculptural bamboo forming the handles and knobs: see Fay-Hallé and Mundt, Europäisches Porzellan (1983): 181, illus. For the Zsolnay “Lotus” series, see Csenkey, Zsolnay Keramiek (1988): cat. no. 12.

42.Théodore Deck (1994): coiling reptiles, for example, cat. nos. 30, 40, 64; animal heads, for example, cat. no. 29. Crowned by animals: for Zsolnay’s vessel, see Csenkey, Zsolnay Keramiek (1988): cat. no. 50; cf. the T’ang vessel, tenth-century China, in Robert Charleston, ed., World Ceramics (London and New York, 1968 and 1971): 47.

43.Deck’s pottery is faience; the glazes—also maganese violet, celadon, golden yellow—are based on frit: see Théodore Deck (1994): 36. In contrast, the monochrome overcoats for the porcelain and the running glazes for the stoneware are alkali glazes.

44.For Lauth, see Georges Lechevallier-Chevignard, La Manufacture de porcelaine de Sèvres (Paris, 1908): vol. 2, pp. 10 ff. On Seger, see Karl H. Bröhan, Dieter Högermann, and Reto Niggl, Porzellan: Kunst und Design, 1889-1939, exh. cat., Bröhan Museum (Berlin, 1993): vol. 6, pt. 1, pp. 83, 104. See also Mundt, Historismus (1973), cat. no. 89, which includes a reference to the first publications of colored glazes in Tonindustriezeitung (1881): 408 ff.

45.For Chaplet, see Mundt, Historismus (1973).

46.B. Grandjean, Arnold Krog og den Kongelige Porcelainsfabrik, 1884-1984, exh. cat., Kunstindustriemuseum (Copenhagen, 1984). See also Bröhan, Högermann, and Niggl, Porzellan (1993): 430-45; in general and literature references, 385-407.

47.Jakob Julius Scharvogel, Keramiker des Jugendstils / Art Nouveau Ceramicist, exh. cat. (Darmstadt, Munich, and Stuttgart, 1995): 62-81. Mutz, Kunst der Jahrhundertwende und der Zwanziger Jahre: Karl H. Bröhan Collection, Berlin, vol. 2, pt. 1, Decorative Arts I: Glas, Holz, Keramik (Berlin, 1976): 341-49, hereafter cited as Bröhan Collection.

48.While the factories in part continued to sell historicizing products for decades.

49.At Zsolnay, these were a focus of models around 1899-1901, for example by Sándor Apáti Abt , Lajos Mack, and Miháli Kapás Nagy.

50.The Copenhagen porcelains were first introduced at the 1888 Nordic Exhibition in Copenhagen and then at the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition. See also Arthur Hayden, Kopenhagener Porzellan (Berlin, 1915; 2d ed. 1924): chap. 9; and Richard Borrmann, Moderne Keramik (Leipzig, 1902): 80-96, as an earlier overview. Bröhan Collection, vol. 2, pt. 2: 222, summarizes contemporary expressions from journals. For the close relationship to contemporary Japanese porcelain, see Kathleen Emerson-Dell, Bridging East and West: Japanese Ceramics from the Kozan Studio (Oxford and Baltimore, 1955).

51.At the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the Berlin Kunstgewerbemuseum acquired from Charles Lewis Tiffany silver vessels with modeled fish and seaweed motifs; see Wolfgang Scheffier, Werke um 1900 (Berlin 1966): cat. nos. 26 ff. In a catalogue of wares from the 1930s, the Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik still offered a wine pitcher with modeled blossoms and handles in the form of a woman; cf. the Zsolnay pitcher by Sándor Apáti Abt and Lajos Mack, 1900.

52.Under the influence of East Asia, a world of parallel forms arose that was highly original, from origami folding works, fans, the well-known vases in the form of blossoms or on a branch socle, to animal-shaped vessels. Françoise-Thérèse Charpentier and Philippe Thiébaut, Gallé, exh. cat., Musée du Luxembourg (Paris, 1985): e.g., cat. nos. 11, 12, 30, 45, 46.

53.The execution occurred in the Burgun, Schwerer & Co. glass foundry, Meisenthal.

54.François le Tacon, Emile Gallé ou le mariage de l’ art et de la science (Paris, etc., 1995): 38, 126, 128, 133, illus.

55.Charpentier and Thiébaut, Gallé (1985): 98 ff.

56.Luster was also used successfully in historicism for ornamental glass production.

57.Rüdiger Joppien et al., Louis C. Tiffany: Meisterwerke des amerikanischen Jugendstils, exh. cat., Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (Hamburg, 1999): 108-65.

58.Helmut Ricke et al., Lötz: Böhmisches Glas. 1880-1940 (Munich, 1989). In 1889 Lötz took into its production program various tulip-shaped stem glasses with lancet leaves on the sides (ibid.: vol. 2, p. 41). Cf. Zsolnay tulip vases, 1889/1900, in Hárs, Zsolnaya Keramikfabrik (1997): 65, illus.

59.Clément Massier also still worked in the neo-Renaissance style. See Dominique Forrest and Karine Laquemant, Massier: L’Introduction de la céramique artistique sur la Côte d’Azur, exh. cat., Musée Magnelli (Vallauris, 2000): 50-71, for luster works in Art Nouveau.

60.S. H. Makus, in Art Nouveau: Symbolismus und Jugendstil in Frankreich, (Darmstadt, 1999): 180 ff.; Richard Borrmann, “Moderne Keramik,” Kunstgewerbeblatt, n.s., 9 July 1898): 174; for a luster vessel formed out of a coiled snake, see illus. 181. The vessel resembles the 1900 object by Tádé Sikorski for Zsolnay. Similar illustrations are also in Borrmann, Moderne Keramik (1902): 51.

61.Rozenburg, 1883-1917: Geschiedenis van een Haagse fabriek (The history of a Hague factory). exh. cat., Gemeentemuseum (The Hague, 1993): esp. 107-37.

62.On the Amphora factories, see Bröhan Collection, vol. 2, pt. 1: 248 ff. In general, on European Art Nouveau, see Edgar Pélichet, La Céramique art nouveau (Paris and Fribourg, 1976).