Luxury Design, Past & Present
Colorfully glazed ceramics Putto with grapes Michael Powolny Austrian Jugendstil circa 1907 Allegory of Autumn
Michael Powolny (Judenburg 1871 - 1954 Vienna) is one of the best-known ceramic artists of the Viennese Art Nouveau and popular among Jugendstil collectors mainly for his imaginative and decorative putti. Furthermore, his contribution at the Palais Stoclet shows his capability to design large sculptural works as well.
The four seasons was a topic that Powolny used time and time again in his creations. He produced many variations of putti representing each season. This putto is an allegory of autumn. The child-like figure is shown enthusiastically carrying a garland of grapes, which decoratively runs all the way down to the base of the piece. The bright blue grapes create a captivating contrast to the otherwise rather pale little putto. The balanced composition and the attention to detail make this piece yet another witness of Powolny’s mastery of ceramics.
This autumn putto was also used as a decorative element right at the entrance of the famous cabaret “Fledermaus” in Vienna, as can be seen on an original photograph of 1907.
Bib.: Catalogue raisonné by Elisabeth Frottier, “Michael Powolny. Keramik und Glas aus Wien“ (Michael Powolny, Viennese ceramics and glass), Böhlau, Vienna-Cologne 1990, illustration 24, cat.no. 28
marked at the bottom with artist's monogramm"MP" for Michael Powolny and "WK" for Wiener Keramik