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Jug, Josep Llorens Artigas

Jug, Josep Llorens Artigas

N Inv.: CE1/11597

This brown earthenware jug is lightly covered with black speckles and is signed and dated on the base. Stoneware is a ceramic paste that turns into a hard, tough, waterproof and opaque material after firing between 1100 and 1250 °C. It can be left in its natural colour, which varies between shades of grey, red and brown, or be glazed, as this piece was. Stoneware was first manufactured in China, where it was considered akin to porcelain due to the presence of feldspar. It seems it was independently discovered in Europe in the Rhineland region of Germany in the 12th century.

Josep Llorens Artigas (1892-1980), together with Alfons Blat, was responsible for the popularity of ceramic pieces in the 1930s, which moved away from the prevailing historical revivalist taste and looked to develop an approach that valued ceramics for the quality of materials and techniques.

Artigas discovered oriental ceramics in Paris whilst studying the work of some of the best potters of the time, such as Delaherche and Massoul, stripping all decoration from his own work and focusing on the purity of form and the search for new glazes.

Evidence of development in terms of form and style in Artigas’ work is rare, making it difficult to date them, apart from when the date has been inscribed, as it is with this piece. There are a great variety of glazes as seen in his book “Formulario y prácticas de cerámicas” (“Methods and Practices of Ceramics”) in which he sets out the methods he developed.

On display in Sala de la creación cerámica del siglo XX (20th Century Ceramics Room), second floor.