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Michael Powolny Four Cherubs Seasons Lovely Figurines Made 1912


Michael Powolny series of cherub season's figurines made 1912 Modelled by Michael Powolny (1871-1954) HALLMARKED: MANUFACTURED BY Wiener Keramik (ALL CHERUBS WEAR MARK OF Wiener Keramik / WK) ADDITIONALLY, ONE CHERUB - THE FALL (AUTUMN) - HAS SIGNATURE OF Michael Powolny (MP), TOO. MATERIAL IS CERAMICS (GLOSSY FINISH / MONOCHROME WHITE-BLACK PAINTED). Made 1912 These are models 301 - 304.    Subject: Most lovely series of cherub season's figurines: Spring (cherub clenching garland of flower's blossoms) Summer (cherub seizing stylized flower's blossoms) Fall / autumn (cherub wearing a pair of grapevines) Winter (cherub wearing a mantel and holding stylized flowers: these are a pair of spring snowflakes) The figurines are attached to round cambered base.    Measure: Height 10 cm (circa 4 inches)   Bibliography: Elisabeth Frottier, "Michael Powolny, Keramik und Glas aus Wien 1900-1950", Vienna 1990, page 207, List of Work (= Werkverzeichnis) numbers 135 - 38 (WV 135 - 38), Models 301 - 304 Waltraud Neuwirth, Markenlexikon für Kunstgewerbe (3), Wiener Keramik / Modelle 1906-13; pages 217 - 219   Experts of Fine Arts assess Michael Powolny's work nowadays as result of activity of one the most important ceramics sculptors / designers of Austrian Art Nouveau. Most of Powolny's successors were strongly under his sway since Powolny had left 'large steps' in Viennese Art of Ceramics. The cherubs created by Powolny - many of them on behalf of Wiener Keramik (WK) - are much sought by knowledgeable collectors of Art Nouveau Ceramics due to fine quality of modelling as well as due to lovely and punchy appearance. - The cherubs presented here belongs to the subject of four season's figurines which were manufactured at the Wiener Keramik (Vienna ceramics) and distributed by the Wiener Werkstätte.


  • Dimensions

    H 4 in. x W 1.5 in. x D 1.5 in.

    H 10.16 cm x W 3.81 cm x D 3.81 cm

  • Seller location
    Vienna, AT
  • Sold As
    Set of 4
  • Reference number

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About Michael Powolny (Sculptor)

As both a designer and a teacher, the Austrian ceramicist and glassware designer Michael Powolny was an important figure in the development of modernist aesthetics in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. His romantic sculptural pottery figures embrace the lush, dynamic stylings of Gustav Klimt and other progressive artists, while his functional pieces — such as glass bowls and vases — employ the simple linear and geometric ornamentation that marked the work of Josef Hoffmann and other members of the Wiener Werkstätte community of designers and craftsmen.

     Powolny received classical training in ceramics from his father, a potter, and at the Vienna School of Applied Arts, but later joined in the modernizing movement in the Austrian arts at the close of the 19th century. In 1897, Klimt, Hoffman, Koloman Moser and other artists and architects founded the Vienna Secession, a group that fought for freedom of expression against the city’s tradition-bound arts establishment. Powolny’s work reflects the changing times. He used classical figures in his ceramics — female nudes, cherubs — yet would dress them in modern ornament such as garlands of abstract, geometric flowers. Pieces from Powolny’s ceramics company were sold through the Wiener Werkstätte (Viennese Workshops) founded by Hoffmann and Moser, and Hoffman later hired Powolny to create ceramic ornamentation for his architectural masterpiece, the Palais Stoclet in Brussels.

     Powolny would go on to design glassware that combines elegant, tapering forms with precise linear decoration. His most influential work may have come as a professor at the School of Applied Arts, where he taught both Lucie Rie, the great Austrian-British modernist ceramicist, and the American potter Viktor Schreckengost, creator of the “Jazz Bowl,” an icon of the Streamline Moderne design. As you will see from the items on offer, Michael Powolny’s works have a double appeal: in their sprightly, endearing forms and as artifacts that document a period of signal change in the history of modern arts and crafts.

About the Seller

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Located in Vienna, AT
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