Tag Archives: Baroque style

Nature inspired pottery decorating


The development of botanical and animal pottery art :  

I never cease to be captivated by the intrinsic beauty of nature. Its form, texture and graceful lines have been well represented in pottery art from the beginning. In pre dynastic Kemetic art (Egypt before the Pharaohs ), Solar-Afro-headed priestesses were often depicted in Nile riverboats . These images occur on numerous ochre-painted ceramic pots, and also appear in rock art and in a tomb murals. The pot below  shows a pair of women in a boat with plants for shade and to their left is a priestess figure performing an invocation.



Egyptian  pre-dynastic Kemetic pottery


In Babylon, ancient Egypt and ancient Greece ceramic tile painting was widely utitilised for decorating. It was used on deck walls, ceilings, floors, murals and even on outside walls and featured both botanical and animal designs. During the New Palace period (ca. 1600 BC to 1450 BCE) of the early Minoan culture, technological advances in materials, firing at higher temperatures and faster pottery wheels, saw an evolution both in form and design. Pottery decoration with spirals and lines became less common as the central theme but remained in lesser areas such as around handles and necks. Plants and marine life now took centre stage. The Floral style most commonly depicted were slender branches with leaves and papyrus flowers.


Minoan Gold Ring

Minoan Gold Ring – unearthed in a burial chamber of a Minoan princess

16th – 13th centuries BC


The Marine style, perhaps, produced the most distinctive of all Minoan pottery with detailed, naturalistic depictions of octopuses, argonauts, starfish, triton shells, sponges, coral, rocks and seaweed. The early Minoan culture had an influence on Greek art.

From 1450 BCE a new style developed, perhaps influenced by increasing contact with the Mycenaean culture from the Greek mainland and this was predominantly found in Knossos. Typical examples were the three-handled amphora, squat alabastron vessels, goblets and unusual pieces including ritual vessels with figure of eight handles and a libation jugs covered in spiky projections. These were decorated with much more schematic representations than the previous styles. Papyrus, lilies and octopuses become  more stylised and abstract. Whilst religious motifs continue to be seen, birds appeared for the first time on pottery, as did helmets and shields.



Minoan dolphin vase

 Although Greek pottery provided us with a wide range of shapes from cups to plates to massive amphorae, many of the forms remained relatively constant over centuries. This is primarily because Greek potters were producing wares for practical use – holding wine, water, oil and perfumes – and once the optimum practical shape had evolved, it was copied and maintained. However, despite this restriction in form, the Greek potters and painters could express their versatility in the decoration of the vase.

From the 8th century BCE, Geometric pottery decoration began to include stylized human figures, birds and animals with nearly all the surface of the vase covered in bold lines and shapes painted in brown and black.

At the end of the 5th century the Greek painters  Parrhasios and Zeuxis, introduced new painting techniques. The former is said to have used outline in new ways which achieved greater realism, and the latter used shading. This inspired new figurative styles with the pottery art.

Early European floral decoration

The Chinese K’ang-Hsi porcelain, which featured both Indian and Korean styled flowers was generally copied during the early development of the botanical decoration of European pottery. The majolica from Spain, which featured a lot of floral decoration also had a substantial input. The advancement of botanical studies, a love of realistic paintings, along with the introduction of new colours supported the creation of more local styles. The liking for bunches of flowers and the production of botanical prints led to further development of naturalistic decorations. As the use of wild-flowers on Marseilles china became popular, this also influenced the rest of Europe in the decoration of their Majolica and porcelain china.

Neo classical, Rococo, Renaissance, Chinoiserie, Baroque, Japonisme, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and most other styles of pottery all had representations of botanical and nature figures in varying degrees. Below is a mixed selection featuring nature inspired imagery.




Cathy Reichel Clark Ceramics




Deb Stableey Pottery

Deb Stableey Pottery




Finely Painted Japanese Ant

Finely Painted Japanese Plate -18th century

( Elegance Auctioneers )




France Bulbous Vase signed L. Berty from Vallauris Provence 20th century




French Majolica Sarreguemines

Birds on a turquoise vase – Sarreguemines French Majolica





Taggerty Pottery




Italian Glazed Earthenware

Italian Majolica – red earthenware vase covered with a mottled pale blue glaze.

(  Ben Ronalds’ Collection – Queensland Museum )





Lavender and white Art Nouveau vase – Hans Rudolf Hentschel – 1896




K'ang-hsi Period Cloisonne

K’ang-hsi Period Cloisonne bottle form vase



Large austrian Amphora ceramic vase

Large Austrian Amphora ceramic vase




Large French or German Majolica bowl





Moorcroft vase, Deco Drive design, issued 2007, designer Phillip Gibson

( Treadway )




Qing Cloisonne enamel

Qing Cloisonne enamel crysanthenum flowers




sunderland carved gourd vessel

 Carved gourd vessel – Marilyn Sunderland





Carved gourd vessel – Marilyn Sunderland




vase with pansy flowers

Vase with poppy flowers -stained glass mosaic

( Penelope )




Victor ArwasnGallery Val Saint-Lambert

 Val Saint-Lambert vase

( Victor Arwas Gallery )





Vintage large vase ” Treespath ”  Rudolph Lorber

Weller Pottery,  USA





Charles Catteau deer vase




Charles Catteau vase





Art Deco Vase – Charles Catteau






English Majolica Baroque vase _ late 19th century

( Ruby Lane )




art nouveau-vase


Art Nouveau vase




Monarch by Sharon Meyer Postance

Monarch by Sharon Meyer Postance





French Art Nouveau ceramic vase

 Lucien LevyDhurmer for Clément Massier



Amphora vase designed by Paul Dachsel

 Crysanthenum flower Amphora vase designed by Paul Dachsel





Amphora vase designed by Paul Dachsel




 Antique French asparagus vine leaf plate MAJOLICA BARBOTINE circa 1880



Antique Hand Painted French planter

Antique Hand Painted French Planter- Rouen Cornucopia




Ben Carter – Dogwood Pitcher




Bust Figurine – Cordey-1940




Daum Vase





 H. Bequet Quaregnon hand painted Ewer  – Belgium


Amphora Art Nouveau vase

( Treadway – Toomey )

Neo classical porcelain lamp

 Neo classical porcelain oil lamp

( Cowans )


Turquoise White Cat Plate with Leaves (1968) – Beatrice Wood

( The Beatrice Wood  Permanent Collection )


Doulton Vase

Pierrefonds vase

French Pierrefonds vase – crystalline glaze

( Treadway Toomey )


Rene-Buthaud vase – large bulbous shape with stylized deer and foilage


Amphora vase, designed by Eduard Stellmacher


Roussillion, France

13/1/2014 →


Weller Pottery botanical pitcher


Art Glass by Jeffrey Pan

Cornflower vase  Lisa Katzenstein

Cornflower vase by Lisa Katzenstein

( http://beveregallery.com )

Matt Morgan Pottery Vase

Matt Morgan Pottery Vase

( Skinner Auctions )

Tiffnay fern vase

Vase of fiddlehead ferns, 1905-15. Manufactured by Tiffany Pottery. Corona, New York.

( Scala Archives )


Pottery vase, bird & flower motif, late 19th century

( Bill Hood and Sons Auctions )

Luba Sharapan mug

Luba Sharapan mug

Julie Whitmore Pottery

Julie Whitmore Pottery

Wella Pottery vase

Weller “Glendale” Vase, Signed, McLaughlin

( Cowan’s Auctions )