The Struggle for Life vase
With the inclusion of the Titans Jardinière and the Children’s Dance vase, the Petit Palais now owns three vases from the Choisy-le-Roi factory, whose brilliant virtuoso pieces are so poorly represented in French collections.
Around the base, rapturous putti and chubby-cheeked mocking babies emerge from ragged-edged thistle leaves and head upwards towards the neck of the vase in a swirling movement. The consummate mastery of the difficult technique of paste on paste allows the ceramicist to vary the effects created by relief and surfaces. His knowledge of colour enables him to combine and blend the most unusual tones – pale pinks and anaemic greens.
The Choisy-le-Roi factory played important role in 19th century decorative ceramics. It drew on the skills of talented artists such as Chaplet, Dammouse, Albert-Ernest and Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse and received many awards at Universal Exhibitions.
Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse trained both as a sculptor and painter under his father and Cabanel. He displayed an early interest in the “industrial arts”, taking lessons with Deck and submitting a jardinière design for the Sèvres competition in1882. In 1890, he was appointed director of decorative work at the Choisy-le-Roi earthenware factory.