Posted 8 months ago
Since I have known Carlos he has always told me how much he would love to have this figure, and last week we were extremely lucky to get it. It really is an amazing piece of ceramic, and such an iconic design too. You can imagine how excited we were the day it arrived home.
Powolny designed this Spring putto in 1907, but this figure, according to the Gmunder Keramik factory mark it bears at the back of the base, was made around 1919. It stands 38 cm. tall... quite impressive!
One of the things I like the most of it is that it somehow is the essence of the Sezessionstil, being so close to Klimt's paintings. The very first I saw this figure was in Prague, at the Museum of Modern Art, just by Klimt's The Maiden, painted in 1913, and it was great being able to compare them and realize that basically they were the same thing, because even de colours are the same (pic 2). The funny thing is that Klimt's painting was made in 1913, 6 years after Powolny created Spring. At the time Klimt was painting the famous portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer or The Kiss... so one might think Powolny first borrowed from Klimt to create the cascade of flowers the putto is holding and later it was Klimt who borrowed something from Powolny, using a simmilar palette, but in fact if we take a look at the “carpet of flowers” in The kiss, from 1907, the look of those flowers are very simmilar to those of Powolny, which shows the huge influence Klimt haad over the rest of the artist of his time.
If compared with the other season putti Powolny created at the time, this one, Spring, is pretty different from the others. There is an intention of modernity the others lack. Comparing it with Autumn, which is the one that resembles the most to it (pic 3) we can see the huge difference between the abstracted mass of flowers (simmilar to the way Klimt painted the robes in his paintings) and the bunch of grapes the Autumn putto is holding, which are just... a more or less amorphous mass of grapes. The other two are even more different (you can take a look at them in my post on the Powolny's mirror frame 5 years ago. https://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/127765-mirror-frame-michael-powolny-wiener-ke?in=collection-3709 ).
By the way, I forgot to say this is our third Powolny item. The mirror came first and then came the Goethe figurine we got in Prague ( https://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/144871-goethe-sculpture-michael-powolny-wiene?in=collection-3709 ) and now this glorious putto! I wonder which figure will the fourth one be, hahahaha.
It took us a good while to figure out the spot to display it at, and it wasn't easy! It is visually so important that it needs just the right place for it for t could even ruin it... We tried everywhere, but at the end we decided to place it over the 1940s bar by some tango glass items which colours I think match perfectly those of the flowers whereas their very simple shapes make an amazing contrast with it. Also the pale skin tone of the putto makes a great contrast with the reddish painted wall (pic 4).