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Circa 1900s Arthur Craco "Dante" Mask

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    Posted 8 years ago

    (143 items)

    Hand sculpted mask by Arthur Craco of Durante degli Alighieri (Dante). Covered in a basic cream and green glaze, this hand constructed mask of Dante is a fine example of late 19th century/early 20th century fascination with the human face and emotional expression. Hand signed on the reverse with Craco's signature. Dimensions: 6.7”(H) x 5.7”(W)

    A close variant of this Craco mask, together with the mask of Beatrice, is published by S. Clerbois in her book on “Céramistes de l’Art Nouveau”, p. 5.


    Arthur Craco was one of the main innovators of Art Nouveau ceramic art in Belgium, fiercely determined to make his place in the decorative arts. First active as a sculptor and draftsman, he first worked with ceramics in 1896 in the workshop of Omer Coppens (Belgium). Craco became friendly with the French Nabis artists. Craco viewed his pieces as objets d'art, on par with Nabis paintings and worthy of any liberal bourgeoise household of the time. In 1909, Craco worked in the factory of Frederic Horta, having received a "Grand Prix" at the International Exhibition in Milan in 1906. He made ??his first sandstone work to 1914 in Stockheim-Fouches, then in Andenne.

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    1. SEAN68, 8 years ago
      stunning!!!! just stunning !! NOW STOP MAKING ME JEALOUS!!! :) LOL!!
    2. cogito cogito, 8 years ago
      LOL. Sorry, Sean68. I'm not trying. It's in my nature as a collector to acquire.
    3. SEAN68, 8 years ago
      LOL!! I Know it is........ I was given you a hard time :) just kidding around with ya :)
    4. SEAN68, 8 years ago
      Your very Blessed :) cogito!!
    5. antiquerose antiquerose, 8 years ago
      I liked it cuz it scared me......LOL.....I would not be able to sleep at night.

      But great find!!!!!!
    6. fledermaus fledermaus, 8 years ago
      Another wonderful mask! I wonder if it was mounted in a frame or part of a larger sculpture. I saw a fantastic Medusa mask recently which was mounted in a frame.
      The Dante theme is still fantastic!
    7. cogito cogito, 8 years ago
      Hi, Fledermaus. It does not appear to have been part of a larger sculpture. The mid-placed ridge on the back has a formed hole through it (hard to see in the pictures) from which the mask can be hung. I have seen this mask, a baby mask and one of Beatrice all rendered in the same cream/green glaze. I'm particularly happy about this one because it is a variant Dante of one that has been produced in multiples and looking over the piece I can see that it was not mold formed. In a few places you can still see the artist's fingerprints. I suspect that this mask may have been an original trial piece for the one that would eventually be made to make the mask mold.
    8. cogito cogito, 8 years ago
      I would add that the molded masks that I have seen of this type carry a Craco stamp, not the hand signature.
    9. AmphoraPottery AmphoraPottery, 8 years ago
      What an expressive face. And the eyes are trippy.
    10. surfdub66 surfdub66, 8 years ago
      Spooky cool !! ;-)
    11. apostata apostata, 3 years ago
      wow this is real good

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