Saturday, February 12, 2011

Example of the Fine Irronic Object


Decoeur worked at least on one occasion with sculptor Guillaume Laplagne, who provided the model for this ceramic inkwell. The shaping of the figure is superbly detailed without being overwrought and is stunningly enhanced by the running white and ochre glaze. The contrasting green color of the snakes brings a triangular dynamic to the piece, and suggests its inky contents. Considering that Laplagne served as the dean of the School of Fine Arts in Cairo, Egypt (from c1908), one suspects an Egyptian or North African connection here. The snake handler has pronounced features of African origin and the horned headdress of a tribal sorcerer. Marks: Decoeur's cloverleaf symbol impressed in base and in glaze near figure's foot; Guillame Laplagne and illegible title incised in clay on the side of the base.