Glazed red and white faience.
Another example, presented at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, in 1898, and numbered 4060, was shown with three other vases: Hercules and Omphale, Children with Butterflies (in the collection of the Petit Palais, Paris), and Music.
Resting on a square base, this pair of vases is decorated with a group of putti who encircle its lower section. These children, who look frightened, run in all directions, seemingly to escape some imminent danger. The ceramicist, who carefully studied how he was going to present the figures, succeeded by placing each one in a different position: some are running with outstretched arms; some are on the ground, probably having fallen on their terrified flight; still others look upward in a quest to understand the cause of their anguish: the two winged demons placed on either side of the top of the vase. These two small monsters are finished with a greenish glaze that gives them a hideous appearance. The title of the work, “Every man for himself!” is written twice on the underside of the vase and explains the iconography. The children, who sense they are in danger, attempt to escape as quickly as possible.
Louis Carrier-Belleuse first showed these vases in a plaster version at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts of 1896. They then reappeared at the Salon of 1898, this time in stoneware, with three other vases that formed a series: Hercules and Omphale, Children with Butterflies and Music. It was on this occasion, in 1900, that the vase was illustrated in the review La Décoration ancienne et moderne.
Son and pupil of the sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824-1887), Louis Carrier-Belleuse studied with Gustave Boulanger and Alexandre Cabanel at the Beaux-Arts academy. He began his career as a painter at the Salon of 1870 and started exhibiting his sculpture in 1889. Early on, he became interested in the industrial arts: for several years, he worked at the Sèvres factory with his father who had been the artistic director since 1875. Then, in 1877, thanks to Théodore Deck, he acquired his first training as a ceramicist, an experience that would determine the path he would eventually pursue: he became the artistic director of the Choisy-le-Roi faience manufactory. He created numerous models for them and often won awards, notably a medal in 1896, the year he showed the plaster version of “Every man for himself!”.
As artistic director of the Choisy-le-Roi faience manufactory, he designed numerous models of the highest quality, including this pair of vases, which is an exceptional example of his artistry.
Illustrated in La Décoration ancienne et moderne, 7ème année, 1900, plate 66.Size: 51 cm high.