Monumental vase

Designer: Georges Hoentschel (French, Paris 1855–1915 Paris)

Maker: Possibly executed by Èmile Grittel (French, 1870–1953)

Date: 1899–1900

Culture: French, Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye

Medium: Glazed stoneware

Dimensions: Overall (confirmed): 45 5/8 x 22 1/2 x 24 1/8 in., 145 lb. (115.9 x 57.2 x 61.3 cm, 65.7716 kg)

Classification: Ceramics-Pottery

Credit Line: Purchase, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation Gift, 2007

Accession Number: 2007.27


This vase, a masterpiece of French Art Nouveau design, is among the largest and most ambitious ceramics designed by Georges Hoentschel, who was an architect, interior decorator, and art collector in addition to being a ceramist. The various aquatic motifs, which include fish, crustaceans, shells, and seaweed, are integrated into the design of the vase with seemingly effortless skill, and the mottled green glaze reinforces the marine theme. This vase and its mate were displayed prominently in the pavilion of the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris.