Posted 6 years ago
Expressive mask sculpted by Jean-Joseph Marie Carriès (Fr., 1855-1894) in stoneware with an applied brown and green glaze, which may be either a death mask or as my daughters say "sneezing person" mask.
This rare piece is characteristic of Carriès' fascination with facial expression and the fantastique.
One of two copies known. No markings other than a cryptic period paper label on the inside with indeciperable characters and an incised numeral "2." Dimensions: 9.5" x 6.3" x 3.2"
This example is pictured in Paul Arthur's "French Art Nouveau Ceramics: An Illustrated Dictionary" on pg. 92 (see here: http://www.worldcat.org/title/french-art-nouveau-ceramics-an-illustrated-dictionary/oclc/897884282 ).
Born in Lyon, Carriès was orphaned at age six and was raised in a Roman Catholic orphanage. He apprenticed with a local sculptor then in 1874 moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts under Augustin-Alexandre Dumont. He first showed at the Paris Salon of 1875 and gained considerable recognition for his sculpted busts at the Paris Salons of 1879 and 1881. However, after seeing an exhibition of Japanese works at the 1878 World's Fair in Paris, he began to devote himself to the creation of polychrome Horror Masks. Jean-Joseph Carriès was a friend of John Singer Sargent who painted his portrait in 1880. His works exhibited at the Salon du Champ-de-Mars in 1892 were widely acclaimed and were acquired by the French Ministry of Culture and by the a museum in Hamburg, Germany. That year, the government of France made him a member of the Legion of Honor. In 1894, a year after he had sculpted perhaps his most famous work entitled Faune, Jean-Joseph Carriès died of pleurisy at the age of thirty-nine.