Monthly Archives: April 2017

Figurative dance sculptures and art



Royal Dux Art Deco Porcelain dancers

Royal Dux Art Deco Porcelain dancers



Won-Lee dance sculpture - two slender figures

‘Caesura #4’   Won Lee




 Dance rhythms of life       


The body is blessed with agility, dexterity and above all rhythm. Only humans have the ability to be engaged (entrained) in rhythmically coordinated movement to an advanced degree. The desire to dance is universal and cross cultural and has permeated all world societies. Ancient tribes used dancing rituals for many important occasions, ceremonies and healing and attained bonding through their creative expression of movement. By integrating storytelling into these public displays of dancing, their history was reinforced and sustained into future generations. Most ancient tribes had specific and important dances for various coming of age ceremonies, weddings and funerals. Dance was performed as a form of ritual to call the spirits of their ancestors in order to establish a line of communication with them. They believed that dancing helped them to feel their ancestral spirits and enable direct invocation for the blessings and approval they were seeking.
The process of performing in rhythmic sync for a celebration and the use of costume and body decoration helped to unify the collective tribal spirit The rhythms, chants, drumming, and dancing all combined to create an uplifting, spiritual state for everyone involved. Sometimes, this led to elevated states of ecstatic trance which has been witnessed with whirling dervishes from Turkey, Moroccan hadra dancing, Orisha priestesses from Nigeria & Brazil and Shaman healers from the Kalahari. In the Middle East they believed that their dancing rituals served to reintegrate and balance the main powers of the human body with the same energy that supports the divine creative energy.


Xu Fei Hong dancing couple sculpture

Bronze dancing couple – Xu Fei Hong


According to Joseph Jordania, the development of the sense of rhythm was central for the achievement of the specific neurological state of the battle trance, crucial for the development of the effective defense system of early hominids.The elevated consciousness attained through their dance gave them more power and spirit to transcend fatigue and conquer their enemy. Some of its many manifestations through the ages has been the rhythmic war cry, rhythmic drumming by shamans, rhythmic tribal dancing before a battle, rhythmic drilling of the soldiers and even contemporary professional combat forces listening to the rhythmic rock music all using the ability of rhythm to unite human individuals into a shared collective force.
It was not uncommon for ancient tribal dancing to imitate the movements of their totem animals and birds, while wearing furs and feathers from these creatures. As birds and animals had characteristic movements, especially with their mating rituals, they had a wealth of material to draw upon. Prehistoric hunters performed dancing to honor their prey before killing them to receive maximum advantage from the flesh.


Rosenthal, white porcelain -Dancer-1923

Rosenthal Dancer, 1923


In some of the more esoteric dance performances, complex rituals are integrated into the dancing as evidenced in the use of distinctive hand movements and vivd facial expressions in the South Indian Bharatnatyam. Complete mythological epic tales are enacted, highlighted by the percussive stamping of feet in sync to the Tabla and Mridang drumming rhythm patterns. Lord Nataraja, one of the Hindu gods, is considered to be the master of this dance form. The Moroccan Gnawa music and accompanying dance also has detailed structure. ( see below)

The natural balance and grace of a dancer combined with the accompanying spirit, joy and emotion, provides a rich tapestry of subject matter for a visual artist. The capturing of dance performance is covered here with a focus on three artistic mediums – sculpture, photography and paintings.


Pearl-Primus dancing with two drummers Photo by Gjon Mili

Pearl Primus  – photo by Gjon Mili

“I dance not to entertain but to help people better understand each other. Because through dance I have experienced the wordless joy of freedom, I seek it more fully now for my people and for all people everywhere”.  – Pearl Primus




Marc-Bellaire ceramic drop vessel with tribal dancer

Mid Century tribal dancer vessel – Marc Bellaire



AncientBoeotian Terracotta statue .. dancer

Boeotian Terracotta statue of a dancer




'Dancer'-by-Gerda-Gerdago sculpture figurine bronze

Constructivist Art Deco ‘Dancer’  by Gerda Gerdago

Iconic Snob Galeries




Edourad Cazaux Baluster-vase

Baluster vase with dancing carnival characters – Edouard Cazaux



Giovanni-Ronzan belly dancer figurine

Giovanni Ronzan belly dancer figurine, Torino, Italy



Josef-Lorenzl-Gold Art Deco sculpture dance figure

Josef Lorenzl Gold Art Deco dance figure




Jitka-Palmer-ceramic cup with dancing

Jitka Palmer



MichaelGustavson-Autumn Dancer abstract sculpture ceramic vessel

Michael Gustavson – ‘Autumn Dancer’



Janos Torok Mid Century dancers vase

Janos Torok Mid Century dancers vase for Zsolnay




‘Afro Cuban Dancers’ – Miguel Covarrubias




D.H.Chiparus Art Deco Dancer Bronze Sculpture Statue Figurine--Thai costume

D.H.Chiparus Art Deco Dancer Bronze Sculpture Statue Figurine




‘It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)’ 1939

Meet Me At The Savoy! Photo Series




Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet-Art Series. February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dustin Yellin. New York City Ballet-Art Series.

February, 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)




A-Girl-from-Mexico female dancer

Movie – ‘A girl from Mexico’, 2012




Harem-Dancer-Sculpture-by-Van-de-Voorde in bronze

Harem Dancer Sculpture by Van de Voorde



Gustavo Pujalte, Esquina Tango A couple dancing the tango on the street


Gustavo Pujalte, ‘Esquina Tango’




Dance of Beauty – Parian – Gaylord Ho

Fascination Fine Art




Dominique Alonzo –  ‘Danseuse Egyptienne’



Edouard Cazaux daceing female figurine

Edouard Cazaux




Guy Portelli_small_tango_sculpture of a dancing couple

Guy Portelli – ‘Small Tango’



Tongues (Holy Rollers) –  Archibald Motley – 1929

Chicago History Museum




Gnawa musicians and leaping dancer

Gnawa dance

The mluk are evoked by the seven musical patterns, seven melodic and rhythmic cells (Um) which are repeated and varied, set up the seven suites that form the repertoire of dance and music of the Gnawa ritual. During these seven suites are burned seven different incense and veils or shawls of seven different colors are used to cover the dancers. Each of the seven mluk is accompanied by many characters (mluk or Djins) recognized by the music and by the footsteps of the dance. These entities are treated like “presence” (Hadra) that the consciousness meets in the altered state of consciousness (Hal), are related with mental complexes, human characters or behaviors. Some of the most known spirits amongst the Gnawa group are: Lalla Mira, Lalla Aicha, and Sidi Mimoun are usually related to places like rivers or seas.


Copyright 1998-to current date by Gilded Serpent, LLC


Eva-Antonia Ballerina sculpture in bronze

‘Ballerina’ – Eva Antonini



Vase with dancers-in-bluish-white-tones-bubbled-with-fountains-gushing-dark-blue.Edourad-Cazaux

Jazz Age ovoid vase with a hemmed collar and dancers in bluish-white tones bubbled with fountains gushing dark blue – Edouard Cazaux

Circa 1935-1940




(B) Ballet on the Beach (c)NYC64813 – Philippe Halsman



Blue_Dancer_2-Alexander-Archipenko - sculpture of a female dancer

‘Blue Dancer 2’ –  Alexander Archipenko



‘Hot Rhythm’ – Archibald Motley – Jazz Age modernist



bronzestatue of a male and female calypso dancers

Bronze statue of Caribbean dancers




Jazz Age plate by Viktor Schreckengost

Jazz Age plate by Viktor Schreckengost



Dakkar street dancing by Frank-Horvat

Frank Horvat – Dakkar street dancing





Ballroom Dancers Mixed Media Hand Painted Iron Wall Sculpture by Primo




Aaron-Douglas drawing of black dancers

Aaron Douglas




Dancer-and-the-dance-by-John-Safer-Stylized stainless steel sculpture

‘Dancer and the dance’ by John Safer




Dany-Jumg wood sculpture

Dany Jumg



Demêtre Chiparus, “Les Girls” c.1930



Eds-Dance_Hans-van-de-Bovenkamp - abstract metal sculpture

‘Ed’s Dance’ – Hans van de Bovenkamp



Ernie-Barnes painting of a dancing couple

Ernie Barnes – ‘The Dancing Couple’




Gerdago---Silver Dancer----1920

Gerda Gerdago—‘Silver Dancer’— Austria 1920





Porcelain dancing couple – designed by Lorenzl for  Goldscheider




Dance of Life sculpture - Dancing circle of women arm in arm

‘Dance of Life’ sculpture – Bradanovic Agid Lucy




Rene Lalique-Crystal-Two-Nude-Dancers

Rene Lalique frosted glass ‘Two Nude Dancers’



Granada-Gypsies dancing Granada gypsy with guitar players

Granada Gypsies playing guitars for a Gypsy dancer

Photograph by Dmitri Kessel





Silver bronze Art Deco dancer with drape




Kolaramma-Temple carved stone dancing lady

Kolaramma Temple at Kolar, relief of dancing women at the mahadwara (main entrance)




Gyuri Hollosy




passionate tango dancing couple

Tango dancers




Joy Of The Dance - D.E. McDermott Lady dancing sculpture in black

‘Joy Of The Dance’ – D.E. McDermott

Sioux Falls



Marie-Madeleine-Gautier-French-sculptor LES DANSEUSES BALINAISES

‘Les Danseuses Balinaises’ – Marie Madeleine Gautier




Maurice-Guiraud-Riviere-art deco figure sculpture - naked green man with a gold turban

Maurice Guiraud Riviere – art deco figure sculpture



Nathan-Brutsky cubist abstract man and woman dancing

Nathan Brutsky



Niki-de-Saint-Phalle-Les_Trois_Graces Three buxom women dancing

Niki de Saint Phalle – ‘Les Trois Graces’


Paige Bradley - 'Summer' =nude female sculpture

Paige Bradley – ‘Summer’ 


Georgy-Kurasov painting of female dancer with tamborine


Georgy Kurasov




Erte Firedancer art deco figure sulpture

Erte – ‘Firedancer’

Patinated and cold painted Art Deco sculpture




Pawaya temple relief of female musicians and a dancer

Relief of court dancer from Gupta era, Pewaya, Madhya Pradesh



leaping Pearl Primus

Pearl Primus

“The dance is strong magic. It transforms the body into liquid steel. It makes it vibrate like a guitar. The body can fly without wings. It can sing without voice. The dance is strong magic. The dance is life:”. – Pearl Primus


sculpture of a female dancing by Dorothy Brook

‘Rain Dance’ by Dorothy Brook




Richard-MacDonald-sculpture of two dancing sisters

Richard MacDonald sculpture – Sisters Quarter Life from the Joie de Vivre Suite



Keith Calder--layback_male_dancer

Lay Back Male Dancer – Keith Calder




Richard-MacDonald blaaet dancing sisters

Richard MacDonald



 Gypsy dancing -by Kurt Hielscher

 Gypsy dancing by Kurt Hielscher

Spain 1914-1919



mark_yale_harris_dance_me_to_the_end_of_love_l dancing couple sculpture

‘Dance me to the end of love !’  – Mark Yale Harris




Rogier-Ruys two female abstract damcers

Rogier Ruys two female abstract dancers desktop sculptures



Şatrova Natalia





The Lindy Hop1936 by Miguel Covarrubias

‘The Lindy Hop’ by Miguel Covarrubias



Outdoor sculpture of a dancing cople -- Tango by Larry Young

 ‘Tango’ by Larry Young





Egyptian Dancer in a Tent, by Willem de Famars Testas, 1863, Dutch Painting, watercolor.

Egyptian Dancer in a Tent, by Willem de Famars Testas, 1863, Dutch Painting, watercolor




Svetlana Belyaeva photo of a dancer in the forest

Svetlana Belyaeva photography





Violetta---Nathalie-SEGUIN-female sculpture

‘Violetta’  —   Nathalie Seguin



House Music with dance sculptures – Tikyo feat. Barbara Tucker The B Crew _Back 2 Love Richard Earnshaw Remix









NEXT POST  —  Rometti ceramica maison


Masks – the art of concealment


African painted clay mask, Luluwa – Royal Museum for Central Africa

Photo – Haguard Du Nord


Menagerie of mask mystique


During the first decades of the 20th century, a shift occurred from purely perceptual art to a more conceptual style fueled by a growing interest in the tribal cultures of Africa, Oceania and North America. The ‘Primitivism’ and ‘Africanist’ arts explored by Paul Gauguin just before the beginning of the century was also embraced by artists such as Modigliani, Matisse, Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Brancusi, Giacometti and Picasso. It gifted them with a visual narrative that propelled the movement away from naturalism and contributed to a pivotal thrust towards modern and contemporary work. The spread of Colonialism and exploration allowed the artists to become acquainted with exotic masks and sculptures that influenced their change in perception, especially with the evolution of Cubism.

The art of masks has been expressed for many different reasons. Masks have existed as a potent symbol for mystique, communication and power ranging from pure flights of fantasy in a masquerade ball or carnivale festival, depictions of particular characters in opera and theatre, Japanese Kabuki Kumadori masks, revelations of ancestral spirits in tribal ceremonies and use by  Shamans for conveying a deity spirit force.
Primitive tribal artists, through less cultivation of their intellect, perceived reality more directly through their subconscious and intuition. This was one of the reasons why their art was more schematic and minimilized as intuitive awareness needed less detail to understand an object. Their primitive imagery in some ways was actually sophisticated in its own right because it created the desired impact without a need for as much visual realism and complexity. This was used to great effect in the mask arts.



Aegean-Goddess mask TheArtOfTheMask-on-Etsy

Aegean Goddess mask


The mask artists in most ancient cultures earned a respected status, not only because of their artisan skills but because of their ability to infuse “spirit” into the art piece. Masks were judged not only by their artistic appearance but for the power they projected. In Cameroon, mask carvers were held in high esteem and worked mostly for forts (local kings). The late fon (chief) of Babungo was himself a talented carver, who descended from a royal line of carvers.
Generally in Africa, the masks are held to be of great spiritual power, and it’s considered taboo for anyone other than specially trained persons or chosen ones to wear or possess certain masks. These ceremonial masks are each thought to have a soul, or life force, and wearing these masks is thought to transform the wearer into the entity the mask represents.


African Mask from the Tikar tribe of Cameroon-17inches-high-Genuineafrica-com

African Mask from the Tikar tribe of Cameroon

17inches high-


The Baoulé, the Senoufo and the Dan tribes of Africa all believe their world is split into two domains: the human domain which is represented by the village and its people, and the spiritual domain, which is represented by the forest and its spirits and their art. When a dancer wears a mask he becomes the spirit of that mask depending on his skill as a ‘medium’. A masked dancer will speak in the language of the spirits and his words are interpreted by a wise man. There are many different masks, each of which has a distinct use during rituals or festivals. Some masks play an important part in tribal rites while others are simply for entertainment at social gatherings. This is typical for many African tribes and other ancient cultures that used masks in their ceremonies.

In Mozambique the most powerful and important Chokwe mask is known as ‘Chikunga’. It is only worn by chiefs and is used during investiture ceremonies of a chief and for performing sacrifices to the ancestors. During their Mukunda initiation, the youth spend several months in a special lodge where they are instructed in their anticipated roles as men. As part of their instruction, the boys are taught the history and traditions of the group and the secrets associated with the wearing and making of masks.




Chokwe-red-and-white braided hair

Incised African mask – Chokwe red and white


Masks were popular in early Greek theatre and preceded the introduction of acting with spoken lines. Like the African masks, they were also larger in scale and favoured a startling appearance and heightened expression running the full gamut of emotions, whether it be sadness, joy, pain or delight. They were also used as a vehicle to tap the hidden psyche and show larger than life abstract imagery from the subconscious. Just as meditation provides the ability to transcend the notion of limited self, the donning of a ceremonial mask also served as a vehicle for shifting self perception and embracing a higher spirit.
Picasso recognized the transformative power of art when he first witnessed Dan masks at a Paris ethnographic museum exhibition. He realized that the Dan artists were using the masks as a means to express their confrontation and conquering of their own inner fears. And in the process they opened up visionary channels of communication and revealed the hidden inner layers for others to witness. Masks weren’t only a means to conceal the physical appearance but became a metaphor for the presence of a hidden consciousness.

Brancusi said, “what is real is not the external form but the essence of things. It is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its external surface”. The tribal artists intrinsically grasped this concept.



Ghanaian craved wood mask

African Wood Mask Hand Carved ‘Dan Beauty’  Ghana




mosaic mask flickr

Herzstücke Mosaics Mask

Herz Stucke, Flickr



angoram-mask,-sepik-carving, Papua, New Guinea

Sepik mask carving, Papua, New Guinea




kimmy-cantrell abstract cubist mask

Kimmy Cantrell abstract mask




Carved Dan mask - Camaroon

Dan Mask, Ivory Coast




Black Bamana mask, Mali

Bamana mask, Ivory Coast




Mosaic Mask from Malinaltepec. Teotihuacan Exhibition

Turquoise, Amazonite, Obsidian mask from Malinaltepec, Mexico

300-550 AD

Teotihuacan Exhibition





Bambara Mask  — Mali, Africa




Sky Blue with gold highlights 'Small wind' mask by Nives Cicin Sain

 ‘Small wind’ mask by Nives Cicin Sain




Carved wooden Baule Mask - Africa

Carved wooden Baule Mask – Ivory Coast




Tribal mask Billy-Kiten-mask,-Sepik-River

Sepik River mask by Billy Kiten , Papua New Guinea




Wood carved wall sculpture - Congo-Chokwe-mask

Congo Chokwe mask



Art Deco Ceramic-Wall-Mask-'TRAGEDY'-By-Goldscheider-Wien

‘Tragedy’  ceramic wall mask By Goldscheider Wien, Austria




Ivory-Coast-red-mask carved from wood

Ivory Coast red mask




full faced Japanese wooden mask

Carved wood Japanese smiling mask




Daniel hawkins wall mask

‘White Crawl’ mask – Daniel Hawkins






Art Nouveau Egyptian Revival Bronze and Terracotta Burial Mask

NYC Modern



Art Deco Inspired Tamara de Lempicka Wall Mask from Echo Of Deco

Art Deco Inspired ‘Tamara de Lempicka’ Wall Mask from Echo Of Deco




Eharo masks, Elema people, Orokolo Bay, Gulf province New Guinea

Eharo masks, Elema people, Orokolo Bay, Gulf province New Guinea





Water Spirit Mama Wati Face mask. Guro people. Ivory Coast

Mid-20th century



-Elema Mask,-Orokolo-village of New Guinea

Elema Mask, Papua New Guinea




Elemental power mask – Laura Demm



'Epa' mask from the Yoruba people of Nigeria

‘Epa’ mask from the Yoruba people of Nigeria



Fig Leafman ceramic Mask

Fig Leafman ceramic Mask




Gabon long Fang mask

 Long Fang mask, Gabon



Higinio Hernandez Carrillo. Beaded mask,-'Green Jicuri Flower'

Higinio Hernandez Carrillo. Beaded mask, – ‘Green Jicuri Flower’




Isis, Osiris and Nephtys.-Scene from woman's mummy mask

Isis, Osiris and Nephthys. Scene from woman’s mummy mask

Roman Period



Keramik Wandmaske Afrikanerin-1950's

Ceramik Wandmaske Afrikanerin




Kifwebe Songye mask carved wood

Kifwebe Songye mask



Mexican Folk Art Sun Moon mask by Felipe Perez Aygn

20 inches height

Great Green Apple




Japanese-Folk-Art-Opera-Mask in red, grey, black and white

Japanese Folk Art Opera Mask



‘Oracle Mask’  – Daniel Hawkins



Scott Jensen carved mask

Speaking Cedar





Lulula ceremonial mask

African Congo Circa: 20 th Century AD




Stone-mask-'Na`vi Herzstücke Mosaics Mask

Mosaic on stone mask ‘Na`vi  – Herzstücke Mosaics Mask

Herz Stücke Flickr



‘Lustre Masks’ – Beatrice-Wood


Donna Schneier Fine Arts



LydiaMini Raku Ceramic Mask

‘Lydia Mini’ Raku Ceramic Mask – Epsilon Series – 



Ceramic mosaic Mask Lungo by Irina Charny

Ceramic mosaic ‘Mask Lungo’ by Irina Charny




Black sculpture Magic Mask by Elizabeth Catlett

‘Magic Mask’ by Elizabeth Catlett

Photo – Crispin Vasquez



tall mask Boris-Indrikov


Elongated mask – Boris Indrikov




Gold and red Mahakala-Buddha-Wall-Mask

Tibetan Mahakala Buddha Wall Mask with octopus crown




NZ Maori mask by Bob Christopher

Hand carved NZ Maori mask by Bob Christopher



Mask-by Boris Indrikov

Part abstract mask – Boris Indrikov



Maske 'kpelié' from the Senufo people

 ‘Kpelié Makse’ from the Senufo people, Ivory Coast




beaded Ganesha mask, India

Beaded Ganesh mask, India




Bearde man mask

Mask of bearded man, 2nd century B.C



Mask of the 'mblo'-group from the Baule people

Mask from ‘mblo’ group of the Baule people



Janus mask from the Markha people of Mali - wood and metal

Janus mask from the Markha people of Mali



Colourful Mayan mask in green, orange and white

Mayan mask




African Mask by Roger Capron




Mini Dan African_artifact_wood_black_face_mask_cote_i__voire_liberia

Mini Dan African mask_Cote D’IVoire,  Liberia




Steel Mask-by-Hagenauer

Momdernist Mask by Franz Hagenauer

Sheryl’s Art Deco



Sepik River mask - Papua New Guinea

Sepik River mask – Papua New Guinea



Neo-Olmec-mask - Daniel Hawkins

Neo Olmec mask – Daniel Hawkins




‘Off-on-a-Tangent’ — wall mask – Laurie Shaman



New-Guinea-Native-Wood-Mask with shells and string

New Guinea Native Wood Mask




-Likishi-Masquerade-Kaoma-Zambia -photo by Phyllis-Galembo

Likishi Mask, Kaoma, Zambia

 Photo by Phyllis Galembo





‘Frog Mask’ – Preston Singletary, Ed Archie and NoiseCat



lisa Larson ceramic mask

Gustavsberg, Lisa Larson



Raku-fired-with-crawling-glaze Chihula octopus mask

Cthulhu raku fired mask




Senufo Kpeliye'e Double Mask

Senufo Kpeliye’e Double Mask





‘Frog Moon’ by artist Randy Stiglitz




River-Spirit-wall mask--Courtney and Scott-Jensen carved wood and beads

‘River Spirit’ wall mask–Scott and Courtney Jensen




7 cobras mask - Sri laanka

Coiled Cobra mask – Sri Lanka



Teke enameled mask

Teke Mask



Teotihuacan greenstone mask

Teotihuacan greenstone mask




Chalk Ware Sarem Italy Lenci Lady




and carved and painted mask

Vintage African carved mask





Sascha Brastoff mask








NEXT POST  — Figurative dance sculptures and art


Bunnies of fortune



Glastonbury Hare by Christopher Fry - painting of a solitary hare in a field during a Full Moon

‘Glastonbury Hare’ by Christopher Fry


Rabbit and hare blessings through the ages


The myth of the Moon Gazing Hare has a connection to ancient Pagan beliefs and beyond. They believed that seeing a moon gazing hare was an affirmation of femininity and would bring growth, re-birth, and abundance, new-beginnings and good fortune. The hare was sacred to the goddess Freya and to Ostara, goddess of springtime. This link with the goddess Ostara/Eostre led to the modern day Easter Bunny. At Easter we eat Hot-Cross Buns, the cross on the bun representing the four quarters of the moon while the Easter egg was regarded as a fertility symbol.

The Chinese also saw the rabbit as a sign of feminine luck and growth. I met a Vietnamese girl who related to me that on a full moon , it was traditional in Vietnam for women to go to the beach and absorb the light of the moon. They revered the bodhisattva goddess, Kuan Yin, who had a connection to the moon and the ocean and was regarded as a symbol of fertility, much the same as the rabbit.



ceramic seated hare sculpture Joe Lawrence

‘Alert Hare’ – Joe Lawrence, via flickr


The ancient Persians believed that ‘a rabbit that crosses your path is good luck.’ They also used them as a talisman on their battle armour and on their pottery, as they were a carrier of great luck and were a symbol of generic beneficence. Chinese Taoist legend ascribes the hare as having a role in the alchemical process for Immortality. Algonquin Indians of North America believed that after death, their spirits traveled to a hare god known as Menabosho. The spiral symbol was also depicted with the rabbit for its association with the goddess, fertility, growth, rebirth and continual change. In the Spring, it was considered lucky to see rabbits running through the fields as they were associated with fertility and the return of flowers and other plants.
Eros, the god of love, is sometimes represented carrying a hare, and the hare was a favorite animal of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. When a hare rested at the feet of the Virgin Mary, it was a symbol of triumph over desires of the flesh. The vision of a bright Full Moon granted love and courage to the blessed.


Vintage Carlton ware Rabbits at Dusk vase aRT dECO

Art Deco Carlton Ware ‘Rabbits At Dusk’ vase


The rabbit, having shorter front legs, can run fastest uphill, enabling it to elude its pursuers along with its evasive skills. Its unique stride, where its back feet touch the ground before the front feet supported the belief of the luck of the “rabbits foot”, especially the back ones. Plutarch (AD 46 – 120), claimed that with its speed and vigilance the rabbit was blessed with a “divine” gait.
In summation, the hare is a symbol of many things, all involving balance, creative potency, refinement, regeneration, fertility, and eternity. This manifests in the form of  inspiration, the Dawn, the Moon, rebirth, infinity, genius, sacred fire and the Egg. Buddhists and Hindus believed that the hare had the powers of resurrection, manifestation and rejuvenation, similar to the phoenix. The Egyptian hieroglyph for the verb “to be” or “being” was actually a hare crouched over a squiggly line of water.

“On the first day of the month when you wake up in the morning shout ‘White Rabbit’ and when you go to bed at night shout ‘Black Rabbit’ and you will have good luck.” – ancient belief


Adrienne-Speer rabbit charger

Adrienne Speer



Black and white geometric patterned Acoma Pueblo Hand Coiled Pottery Seed Pot - JM Shativa Peublo Direct

Acoma Pueblo Hand Coiled Pottery Seed Pot – JM Shativa

Pueblo Direct



raku-Hare sculpture-by-Lesley-D-McKenzie

Brown hare – raku sculpture by Lesley D McKenzie, via Flickr




Ceramic panel - earthenware, molded and underglaze-painted decoration. Iran, 19th century.

Ceramic panel – earthenware, molded and underglaze-painted decoration. Iran, 19th century.

From an illustration for Zakariya al-Qazwini’s book, Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing (13th century).




Elaine-Peto two ceramic hare sculptures

Elaine Peto

“A man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” -Chinese Proverb.




Gin-Durham---White-Hare sculpture

Gin Durham— ‘White Hare’   2015

Hatfield Gallery



Etruscan-Black-figure-amphora,-c.500-BC-with three hare motifs

Etruscan Black figure amphora




Firwel crafts rabbit sculpture

Firwel Crafts Moon Gazing Lunar Hare sculpture – reconstituted stone





‘Bassano’ flower vase with rabbit and cabbage (20th-century), L’Ancora manufacture, Veneto, Italy





Egyptian wall art – Ra in the form of a feline/hare slaying the snake Apophis, Tomb of Inherkha, 1160 BC, Thebes.

The rabbit, being associated with moderation, resists temptation from the serpent.



Iranian-tray-tri hare luck symbol

Iranian Silk Road tray with the “Three Hares” luck symbol.

Three hares racing around in an endless circle. Displaying the riddle of each having two ears, yet there are only three ears in total as each ear is shared by two hares.( enlarge with click) This symbol has been seen on 13th century bells in monasteries in Germany and 15th century churches in England. Once again as a symbol of luck (the riddle connecting it to the Dragon*) and resistance to temptation. Also evidenced in elaborate ceiling paintings from the Sui and Tang dynasties (AD 581 to 907). This ubiquitous motif has connected civilisations across religion and time carrying a consistent theme.

*Dragon invocation typically involved a riddle



sacred three hares symbol stained glass

‘Three Hares’ stained glass panel – Angie Dibble

Half Moon Stained Glass




Mayan whistle in the form of the moon goddess and her rabbit consort. CE 600–800.

Ceramic Mayan whistle in the form of the moon goddess and her rabbit consort.

CE 600–800. Princeton University Art Museum.




Jenny Mendes



raku hare sculpture- Annie Peaker

Raku Hare – Annie Peaker




Arthur Court-Aluminum-Bunny-Wine-Cooler with gold feet

Arthur Court–Aluminum Bunny Wine Cooler



Raymond Yard Art Deco rabbit waiter brooch

 Art Deco rabbit waiter brooch – Raymond Yard



Beadwork-and-Mixed-Media jackrabbit -by-Betsy Youngquist

Beadwork and Mixed Media jackrabbit  – Betsy Youngquist



Bowl with_hare,_Egypt,_Fatimid_period, 11th century_AD, earthenware with overglaze luster painting Cincinnati Art Museum

Egyptian hare motif bowl

Earthenware with overglaze luster painting,  Fatimid period, 11th century AD,

Cincinnati Art Museum



Raku-Hare-moon gazing by-Paul-Jenkins

Raku Moon Gazing Hare by Paul Jenkins



rabbit standing in a field next to a mushroom

Rabbit leaning on a mushroom




Ceramic Platter Rabbits Moon and Stars Large by RonPhilbeckPottery,

 Large  Ceramic Platter – Rabbits Moon and Stars by Ron Philbeck Pottery




leaping hare ceramic tile etsy

Deep turquoise leaping hare ceramic tile

Gianar etsy



Stylised crackle white-glaze rabbit, signed Lepoy

Stylised crackle glaze rabbit, signed Lepoy

Sheryls Art Deco




Regina Chinow raku rabbit pair

Raku Bunnies – Regina Chinow



Flock the Jack Rabbit Look what I can do - Flickr orange rabbit sculpture with abstract decoration

‘Flock the Jack Rabbit’ –  Look what I can do – Flickr



Joshua Tobey ceramic rabbit

‘Jackpot’  hare sculpture – Joshua Tobey




Bronze 'King of Jacks' sculptures - Joshua Tobey

Bronze ‘King of Jacks’ – Joshua Tobey




Foxlo-Pottery hare motif vase

Sgraffito hare vase – Foxlo Pottery — Fox & Lois Garney



Michael Flynn - Hare Woman - sculpture of a dancing lady with a dancing hare

 ‘Hare Woman’  – Michael Flynn

Hares run at a speed of 37 body lengths per second – 60 kilometers/hour




Eli Kaluga Innocent - Smiling Hare

Eli Kaluga Innocent – Smiling Hare



Ceramic bunny box with carrot handled lid - Lisa Naples

Ceramic bunny box – Lisa Naples




ceramic rabbit planter Lisa Naples

Hare planter – Lisa Naples




Rabbit motif on maiolica dish, Florence, Italy 1450

Rabbit motif on maiolica dish, Florence 1450




Herend-Rabbit porcelain sculpture with red on white surface pattern

Herend porcelain rabbit




Hornsea rabbit vase

Hornsea Eastgate




Netsuke rabbit figure

Netsuke Rabbit, Japan



Carved stone sculpture of a rabbit 'Okazaki Shrine' (Rabbit Shrine), Kyoto

‘Okazaki Shrine’ (Rabbit Shrine), Kyoto 



'Okazaki Shrine' (Rabbit Shrine), Kyoto rabbit statue

‘Okazaki Shrine’ (Rabbit Shrine), Kyoto



Study For A Silent Hare_2007-Beth Cavener ceramic stoneware sculpture

‘Study For A Silent Hare’ – Beth Cavener




rabbit-plate with crackle glaze by Josse Davies

3 Rabbit plate – Josse Davies




Gin-Durham hare sculpture

Gin Durham




margaret-wozniak - blue highlights on a white ceramic rabbit

Polish-born, New York based sculptor, Margaret Wozniak




Morris-Pottery-ceramic-rabbit on base

Morris Pottery



Netty-van-den-Heuvel white porcelain rabbit

Netty van den Heuvel, Nl




Kare Design fetish bunny - ceramic rabbit in red rubber costume

White ceramic bunny in red rubber costume – Kare Design, Germany




reclining hare - Nick Mackman

Reclining Hare – Nick Mackman



Nicolas-Ortiz terracotta rabbit

Nicolas Ortiz – ‘Estrada Rabbit’



Rare Foley ware 'Intarsio' rabbit decorated ginger jar and cover, designed by Frederick Rhead,

Rare Foley ware ‘Intarsio’ rabbit decorated ginger jar and cover, designed by Frederick Rhead

English, circa 1900




Running-rabbit-plate by-Diana Fayt

Running Rabbit Plate by Diana Fayt




Rabbit vessel by Sarah Ogren

Rabbit Vase – Sarah Ogren




'Star Falls' by Toshio Ebine - rabbit on crescent moon painting

‘Star Falls’ by Toshio Ebine



Gaynor-Osinelli,-Paul-Priest,-Artists,-2010 Orange and white hare

Gaynor Osinelli, Paul Priest — 2010




Two rabbits outdoors on a hill Shaun Tan

‘The Rabbits’ – Shaun Tan




Royal-Doulton-Flambe-Hare red glaze

 Royal Doulton Flambe Hare




Mosaic with a rabbit, lizard and mushroom, 19th or early 20th century.- MET

Tile mosaic with a rabbit, lizard and mushroom, 19th or early 20th century.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (artist unknown)



Green tortoise-hare-sculpture New York

Green Tortoise and Hare sculpture – Barry Flannagan?

Broadway at 246th Street, NY



Two Yuan Dynasty stoneware jars

Two Yuan Dynasty stoneware jars

1271 – 1368




Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu in her busy bunny garden

Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu in her busy bunny garden

photo Kathryn Parker Almanas




Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu in her busy bunny garden

Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu in her busy bunny garden




Mark-Marshall-Lambeth-Vase with male and female rabbit figurines

‘The Waning of the Honeymoon’ – Mark Marshall Lambeth Vase



Westie-cast iron white bunny-bookends

Bunny bookends – Westie




Laurie Sharman ceramic vase

Laurie Sharman







NEXT POST  —  Masks – the art of concealment


Romantic love in art, sculpture and clay



Louis-Jules-Trager-Adam and Eve vase

‘Adam and Eve’ – Louis Jules Trager, Sevres

Art Nouveau 1925


The Psyching of Cupid


The original story of Cupid and Psyche appeared in the 2nd century AD in a story called ‘Metamorphoses’ which was written by Platonicus. This was a tale of the struggle to overcome obstacles in love featuring Psyche {soul} and Cupid (desire). Eros, which is also a name for Cupid, had been appearing with Psyche via Greek art and sculpture since the 5th century BC. Other gods also featured with them including Venus, Amore, Mercury and Jupiter. The story was retold in poetry, drama, and opera through the ages and depicted widely in painting and sculpture inspiring many artists, especially after it reappeared during the Renaissance. Frollicing couples, courting couples, hopeless romantics, betrayal, infidelity, unrequited love mixed with joy, despair, elation, romantic trysts, love quests, separation, connection with doses of torment, pain and delirium. All the romatic cliches were on display.
Romances were typically based around themes such as the supernatural, wandering, exploration and discovery. They often featured exotic, fantastical locations with themes of transgression and redemption, loss and retrieval, exile and reunion. The story was popular on the spinners circuit (females on spinning wheels) and also a favourite with wandering minstrels.


Psyche admiring a sleeping Cupid sculpture

Psyche looking at Cupid sculpture



John Collier: The Death of Cleopatra (1890)


Some of these popular romantic tales and epics of the past had a strong emphasis that falling in love was fraught with danger and tragic consequences. Orpheus was so distraught at the loss of Eurydice that his emotionally charged songs made the gods and nymphs weep to the extent that she was eventually granted resurrection. He then went on to lose her again when bringing her back from the underworld, this time permanently. Cleopatra and Marc Antony was another famous tale of tragedy in love, both dying from a false communication of the others well being.. Rama had success in rescuing his kidnapped partner Sita from the demon Ravana in the Ramayana epic, but she had to throw herself on his funeral pyre to prove her loyalty, which had been questioned. Sir Lancelot, had to rescue Queen Genevieve from being burned at the stake for her adultery with him. This had weakened the rule of King Arthur and led to Lancelot ending his days as a lowly hermit and Guinevere became a nun at Amesbury where she died. Helen of Troy was reunited with King Menelaus in Homers Illiad but it took an army and a war to achieve this.
Cupid sometimes appeared blindfolded to convey the message that love is blind. Shiva, the Lord of Transcendence probably had the right idea when the Hindu cupid Kamdeva paid him a visit to make him infatuated with Parvati. He blasted him with a flame from his third eye due to Kamadeva’s arrow disturbing his meditation.


Bernard-Kapfe abstract cuddling lovers sculpture

Bernard Kapfe – Lovers



The Aesthetic genre at the turn of the 20th century rekindled the spirit of beauty and romance while Art Nouveau had a tendency to display numerous forlorn maidens and nymphs pining wistfully for a lover or in some sort of emotional suspension in a nature setting deep in a forest next to an enchanted pond. All the famous pottery companies in Europe – Zsolnay, Bohemian Amphora, Italian Capodimonte, Austrian Goldscheider, Royal Dux created pieces with a romantic aesthetic.
The French ceramicists Jean Mayodon, Edouard Cazaux, Rene Buthaud, Rene Crevel and Charles Catteau all flirted with romantic themes, and displayed their innate romantic flair in design and decoration, usually classically inspired in style while infused with Art Deco designs and Fauvist colours and freedom.
The love mood in Art Deco became more sophisticated and modern with liasons occurring in cafes or trendy gatherings. Love became more calculated and business like and less compulsive, but artists like Demetre Chiparus, Erte, Fasyral and Pierre le Faguays kept the romantic spirit churning.


Dante and Beatrice - Henry Holiday

‘Dante meets Beatrice at Ponte Santa Trinità’, by Henry Holiday




Love saith concerning her: “How chanceth it

That flesh, which is of dust, should be thus pure?”

Then, gazing always, he makes oath: “Forsure,

This is a creature of God till now unknown.”

She hath that paleness of the pearl that’s fit

In a fair woman, so much and not more;

She is as high as Nature’s skill can soar;

Beauty is tried by her comparison.

Whatever her sweet eyes are turned upon,

Spirits of love do issue thence in flame,

Which through their eyes who then may look on them

Pierce to the heart’s deep chamber every one.

And in her smile Love’s image you may see;

Whence none can gaze upon her steadfastly.


..Dante Alighieri

La Vita Nuova



Meissen art nouveau vase with cupid motif

Meissen porcelain vase



Theodore-Riviere-sculpture of Sarah-Bernhardt-à-Carthage

Theodore Riviere sculpture of ‘Sarah Bernhardt à Carthage’




Cappy Thompson,-The Calling---painted-glass Mercury calling a sleeping woman

Cappy Thompson, ‘The Calling’




‘Seduction’ – Akio Takamori


Alejandra-Franco-Dancers-2013 - clay figurine of an eldery couple dancing

Alejandra Franco – ‘Dancers’         




Andre Methey-ceramic bowl

‘Devoted’ – Andre Methey




‘A Chinese love song’ – Marygold Print




‘Elation’  – Rosenthal Art Deco Porcelain Female Figure by D. Charol





Aristide Maillol - 1906-1908.Desire sculpture

‘Desire’ – Aristide Maillol – 1906-1908

Museum of Modern Art – New York



Art-Deco-Vase-Longwy-for-Pomona-Bon-Marché I woman dancing with a deer

Art Deco Vase Longwy – Pomona Bon Marché



Itzik-Ben-Shalom-Embracing-Couple - bronze abstract sculpture

Itzik Ben Shalom – ‘Embracing Couple’




Bertel-Thorvaldsen----Amor-and-Psyche relief art

Bertel Thorvaldsen – – ‘Amor and Psyche’

photo Maicar Forlag


Camille-VandenBerge,-Love-Struck, Ceramic buet of a girl with two birds on her hat

Camille VandenBerge – ‘Love Struck’




Edward Cauzaux white figural vase

Edouard Cazaux figural vase



Edourde-cazaux-vase with two nude figures in blue and white

Edouard Cazaux




Celestial Sun Moon Mosaic wall art



Clement-Massier---Sculptural-bowl,-1900 with nude figures

Clement Massier—Sculptural Art Nouveau lustreware bowl




Demetre-Chiparus-danicng-couple-female with a harlequin

‘Fancy Dress’ – Demetre Chiparus



Dreamer_Monica-Wyatt-seated abstract woman

‘Dreamer’  Monica Wyatt




Edourd-Cazaux-nude white lady with two doves motif

Edouard Cazaux



Eduard-Ghazaryan-Lovers ceramic sculpture

Eduard Ghazaryan – ‘Lovers’



Louise Burgeois. ‘The Couple’  metal sculpture

Ekeberg Park, Oslo, Norway


Delamarre Raymond-1890-1986-fr-Persee and Andromede

‘Persee and Andromede’ – Delamarre Raymond




Elliott-Erwitt-Magnum-Photos A couple reflected thru a rear vision mirror

Elliott Erwitt

Magnum Photos




Etruscan-Vulci wall art relief

Etruscan wall relief of couple – Vulci





‘Kiss in Venice’ – futurist Fortunato Depero




Frances_MacDonald_-_Ophelia_1898 recliing lady in lavender dress

Frances MacDonald – ‘Ophelia’

(click to expand) 1898



angels in flight - Ima-Naroditskaya-

Ima Naroditskaya


Intimate Encounter- WonLee 2006 32 inches height ISABELLA GARRUCHO FINE ART

‘Intimate Encounter’ – WonLee 2006 32 inches height





Jean-Mayodon baluster vase with naked figures

Twin handles baluster vase with nude figures – Jean Mayodon



Joe-Joseph---Lovers---lemon-opal carving

‘Lovers’ – Joe Joseph

Carved from lemon opal



jeremy-james-ceramics two white owls

Jeremy James ceramics  – Owl pair




Kim Mosley; Stone, Sculpture 'Entangled Passion' - carved orange

Kim Mosley –  ‘Entangled Passion’



Fifties German vase - woman on the shore meeting a boatman

Meeting the Boatman – German vase 50’s



Limoges ceramic figurine of a romatic couple

Romantic couple figurine – Limoges




‘Sea Sprites’ – Louis Chalon (French 1866-1940)

circa 1895




‘Love changes everything’ vase – Jenny Orchard, AUS

earthenware with glazes and enamels, 47 x 34 x 38cm



love-playing-on-a-shamisen - seated Oriental couple - Larisa-Churkina

‘Love playing on a shamisen’ – Larisa Churkina




Craquelure vase with female mandolinist motif - Rene Bathaud

Rene Buthaud female mandolinist vase


 The Kiss, Lyuben Pashkulski

The Kiss –  Lyuben Pashkulski




Cappy Thompson-painted-glass - sitting couple

Cappy Thompson painted glass panel




Wood Carving Lovers-in-a-Pavillion,-17th-century-TamilNadu

‘Lovers in a Pavillion’, 17th century Tamil Nadu




Love frolic clock



Sevres vase - man departing on a horse

‘Goodbye’ – Sevres vase



Meissen Pantalone and Columbine-1740 Photo Maggie Nimkin Modeled by Johann Joachim Kändler,

Meissen figurine ‘Pantalone and Columbine’ – Modeled by Johann Joachim Kändler


Photo Maggie Nimkin



 Haegar Pottery Statue 'Lovers',

Mid Century Modern Haegar Pottery Statue ‘Lovers’

20″ Tall




Nairi-Safaryan wood carving of a gilr playing the violin

Female violinist wood carving – Nairi Safaryan




One With the Universe by Martin Eichinger at Quent Cordair Fine Art The Finest in Romantic RealismOne With the Universe

‘One With the Universe’ by Martin Eichinger

Quent Cordair Fine Art





Outdoor sculpture by Auguste Ottin – ‘Polyphemus Surprising Acis and Galatea’




Penny-Byrne sculpture

‘Love is a Battlefield’ – Penny Byrne, Australia




‘Pierrot and Columbine’ dancing figurine



René-Crevel Jazz Age roaring twenties vase

Potiche Roaring Twenties – René Crevel




Cupid and Psyche - 16th Century sculpture - embracing lovers

Cupid and Psyche – 16th Century sculpture




‘Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss’ by Antonio Canova; group in marble . (1787)




Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry Rendezvous of lovers

Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry  ‘Rendezvous of lovers’



René Buthaud (France 1886-1987) vase, gilded glazed earthenware, 1930.

Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris.




art Nouveau Zsolnay_lovers-eosin-luster-vase

Zsolnay Lovers eosin lustre vase




Shiva-&-Parvati wall carving

Shiva & Parvati




René-Buthaud gilded highl;ights vase

René Buthaud (France 1886-1987) vase, gilded glazed earthenware, 1930.

Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris.



Dancing Maenad and a Satyr Etruscan,

Dancing Maenad and a Satyr – Etruscan, Terracotta and pigment

500 – 475




Demetre Chiparus Russian Dancers




A pilgrim reunitses with his lover - Frank Bernard Dicksee - The End of the Quest

Frank Bernard Dicksee – ‘The End of the Quest’



Pauline-Wateau enraptured female sculpture

‘Enrapture'[‘  female sculpture – Pauline Wateau





Mid Century ‘Joined at the Hip’ modernist candlestick holders




large Burniing man Festival sculpture called The Embrace

‘The Embrace’ – The Pier Group

Burning Man  2014



Theodor-Lundborg-for-Royal-Copenhagen-Kissing Couple sculpture

Theodor Lundborg for Royal Copenhagen Monumental ‘Waves and Rock’ Porcelain Figural Sculpture

ca. 1897


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