Posted 8 years ago
I took these pictures looooong time ago, but with so many items in our collections I'was postponing sharing it until i forgot about them.... and yes, it's almost a crime forgetting about this beautiful item. It's a terracotta jardinière made by the Spanish artist Lambert Escaler i Milà (a Catalan as you can guess for his name).
Lambert was a playwriter as well as a multidisciplinar artist, but is mostly remembered as an sculptor and decorator.
His terracottas showing women in the Art Nouveau style, that he made mostly between 1900 and 1910, are his best known work. One of the secrets of his success was that his terracottas were produced in series, so they were cheaper than stone or marble sculptures. During the 1900 Paris Exhibition, Escaler realized that there was scarce offer of “bibelots” in this style, so he decided to specialise in the subject. He made terracotta sculptures from plaster moulds, which allowed him to make a big quality production. The colour was later added without need of a second baking and it was individualized for each piece, what gave a handmade finishing to this series produced items. The success was inmense.
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By the way, maybe you don't know, but the name for Art Nouveau in Spain is Modernismo, and was such since the very begining. As you all must know, Art Nouveau is the name used in France and Belgium, but its equivalent in other places got different names: Arte Nova in Portugal, Liberty or Floreale in Italy, Jugendstil in Germany, Sweden, Finland... (here, in architecture, they also used the National Romantic style or something of the sort), Sezessionstil in Austria, Szezessio in Hungary... Funny as it seems, in England they kept on using the term Arts & Crafts for applied arts and something like Free Edwardian for architecture, even in the shapes were actual Art Nouveau/Jugendstil ones... Even if traditionally the work of both Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Charles Harrison Townsend has been understood as British Art Nouveau only till recently the term Art Nouveau hasn't been used there...
The Spanish term, which probably was first used in Catalan as Modernisme, always causes some problem with translations as what is called as Modernism in English is used when talking about the architectural and decorative style used in the mid to lates 20th onward (even if in the wikipedia -if we're to trust it, they say that "Modernism, in general, includes the activities and creations of those who felt the traditional forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, philosophy, social organization, and activities of daily life were becoming outdated in the new economic, social, and political environment of an emerging fully industrialized world".