Exploring new firing and glazing techniques and their myriad effects on traditional forms was an exciting approach for many experimental turn-of-the-century ceramists. Here the acid green and dark umber glaze takes on the quality of copper patina.
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Pierre-Adrien Dalpayrat and Alphonse Voisin-Delacroix
Commedia dell’Arte Mask

ca 1892

About

Exploring new firing and glazing techniques and their myriad effects on traditional forms was an exciting approach for many experimental turn-of-the-century ceramists. Here the acid green and dark umber glaze takes on the quality of copper patina. The metallic effect of the glazed stoneware thus produces a double mask in a clever play off the subject from the Comedia dell’Arte. There is also a macabre quality to the glaze as if acid green tones had become the new shadow. The era’s new forms of electric lighting, whose mercury components cast a sickly greenish hue, called forth profound states of inner dread, or ennui, and alienation which so often characterized modern urban life at the turn of the century. The popular Pulcinella-like mask motif found new relevance within this modern way of life. The partnership between Alphonse Voisin-Delacrox and Pierre-Adrien Dalpayrat was short but prolific. Following the untimely death of Voisin-Delacroix in 1893, Dalpayrat dropped the VD stamp of their partnership and used the exploding grenade to distinguish his pieces as he did on the underside of this mask. PIERRE-ADRIEN DALPAYRAT (1844-1910) After working nearly half his life as an itinerant faience painter and directing production for commercial porcelain manufacturers, Dalpayrat’s eyes were finally opened to reveal his true calling. Ernest Chaplet had just won the gold medal at l’Exposition Universelle for his revolutionary sang-de-boeuf glazed stoneware. That same year, sparked by Chaplet’s revelatory creations, Dalpayrat moved to the hub of ceramic activity just southwest of Paris in Bourg-la-Reine to began extensive research into glazes and to begin producing stoneware. Featuring what has since come to be known as “Dalpayrat Red,” he exploded on the Parisian art scene in 1892 with the first of many shows at the prominent Galerie Georges Petit. One of the most critically acclaimed ceramists of his time, Dalpayrat was made Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 1900. ALPHONSE VOISIN-DELACROIX (1857-1893) Like Pierre-Adrien Dalpayrat with whom he later collaborated, Voisin-Delacrox shifted artistic gears following the 1889 Paris l’Exposition Universelle to begin producing stoneware. He hadn’t been in his newly-rented atelier in Bourg-la-Reine but two weeks when he entered into a partnership with his neighbor, Dalpayrat in 1892. It was a fortuitous meeting which would prove to bear fruit; for his part, Voisin-Delacroix relied upon his former sculpting training to create ceramic models, while Dalpayrat’s side of the partnership was in the execution of the stoneware and glazes. Their first show later that year at Galerie Georges Petit pointed to a bright future. Sadly, it was not to be; Voisin-Delacroix succumbed to Pleurisy and died in April the following year.

Details

  • Artist
    Pierre-Adrien Dalpayrat and Alphonse Voisin-Delacroix (French)
  • Creation Year
    ca 1892
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Condition Details
    Delpayrat grenade stamp on back. Similar example at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University.
  • Dimensions
    H 4.13 in. x W 7 in.H 10.5 cm x W 17.78 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Chicago, IL
  • Reference Number
    LU46731343163
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