Franco-Belgian ceramist Charles Catteau could be regarded as one of the most versatile ceramic artists of his generation, especially for the style of Art Deco. Catteau advanced the forms, techniques and decoration of modern ceramics, creating an exceptionally original, new and decorative genre.
Hired as a ceramic decorator in Ecole Nationale de Sèvres from 1903 to 1904, he began producing designs that were rather traditional, based on the observation of nature, and showing the influence of Japonism, characterised by pure lines and meticulous details. From 1904 to 1906, he worked in Nymphemburg Porzellan Manufaktur near Munich, a factory specialising in new hand painting procedures under a slip, as well as Art Nouveau.
In 1907 he finally moved to Louvière in Belgium where he was promoted to head of the decoration department at Boch Freres Keramis at the age of 27. This is where most of his exceptional talent came to the fore especially during the period between the two World Wars. Influenced by the great creative art movements of the time (Africanism, Japonism, Cubism, Abstraction) and his observation of nature gave him inspiration for his designs, with the integration of plants, stylized animals and geometric motifs. The international avant-garde movements were also an influence leading to his use of purely abstract, geometric designs and intense colours. Charles Catteau was incredibly resourceful and explored various harmonies of form, techniques, designs, colours, shades, topics, variants and influences. In this way Catteau became a representative par excellence of Art Deco designs, giving it his personal touch. He was instrumental in introducing technical innovations during the 20’s and 30’s to aid mass production of ceramic products and expand availabiltity of affordable products. During difficult times in Europe, he created vivid, colourful, orignal and uplifting ceramic wares.
Charles Cotteau motto was “Art for All” and he also taught decorative painting at the School of Industrial in Louvière. In 1925 he obtained international recognition in the exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris. which helped raise the profile of Boch Freres. He remained at the company until he retired to Nice in 1946 .
The renaissance of his artistic legacy is largely due to the popularity of the many collectible aspects of his creations.
Three-colour repetitive design with flying eagles – stoneware.
( Pierre Berge & Associates )
Vase in enameled earthenware, slender shape with slightly opened neck.
An octagonal and a pair of four-sided vases with geometric decorations in black, white, ocher, yellow and turquoise to designs.
Vase ovoid earthenware decorated with white crackle brown and black pads and triple sinuous brown.
Charles Catteau White Cranes ovoid vase
Ovoid vase using polychrome enamel on cracked beige background by Charles Catteau
A Boch Freres Keramis baluster Art Deco vase designed by Charles Catteau, circa 1925
Polychrome designs with geometric patterns – matt enamels – 1927
Vase ceramic bowl decorated with stained black gold galloping deer in a forest.
Large Art Deco & Art Nouveau styled vase – Boch Freres
Charles Catteau Art Deco glazed earthenware hexagonal vase for Boch Frères Keramic, circa 1925
Africanist sandstone and satin enamels of ovoid form, decorated stylized plant motifs on the entire surface.
Scailmont vase by Charles Catteau
Classic Art Deco vase – Jan Wind design for Charles Catteau
Polychrome designs with geometric patterns – stoneware.
Antique Belgian Majolica Boch Freres / Charles Catteau Art Deco Gourd Shaped Vase
Charles Catteau & Boch Frères Keramis – 1937
Charales Catteau ovoid porcelain finish stoneware vase with a rimmed neck
Charles Catteau – Boch Freres Two enamel-decorated vases in cuerda seca.
Art Deco cup with stylized floral motifs -Charles-Catteau 1927
French Art Deco vase by Charles Catteau
Charles Catteau love birds vase
A large vase oblong black glazed stoneware incised geometric decoration of deer grazing.
Geometric cubist style Art Deco vase -Charles Catteau 1929
Art Deco crackle glaze vase – Charles Catteau
Art Deco ovoid vase – Charles Catteau
Art Deco cubist stylized sailboats and seagulls ovoid vase – Charles Catteau 1930
Vase with moving deer motif
Art Deco vase designed by Maurice Delvaux for Charles Catteau
Charles Catteau for Boch Freres 1936
Green and gold Art Deco vase
Updated – 16/4/2013
More innovative Art Deco by Charles Catteau :
Catteau Art Deco vase geometric patterns – 1929
Unique Charles Catteau Deco Vase polychrome design with strongly stylized floral motifs.
Charles Catteau,Vase with decorative figures in bathing costumes, strollers and anglers
by a river. 1935
Charles Catteau Ovoid Vase – 1928
Two-colour design with stylized pine cones and pine needles Art Deco by Charles Catteau – 1926
Charles Catteau Deco ovoid vase
Polar Bear Vase – Jan Wind for Charles Catteau
Large Catteau giraffe vase – 1931
Vase – Art Deco by Charles Catteau
Charles Catteau Art Deco ceramic jar – 1930
Charles Catteau ceramique vases
Above images © Pierre Bergé & associés // © photographies Brice Vandermeeren.