Ceramic figurine of a lady in a fur coat “Winter”, design Michael Powolny, execution Wiener Keramik, ca. 1910, grey earthenware colorfuly glazed, marked
marked with artist`s monogram “MP” for Michael Powolny and “WK” for Wiener Keramik, mod. no. “226” Bib.: Thomas Arlt/Arthur Weilinger (eds.), Wiener Keramik. Catalogue raisonné, authors edition, Vienna 2018, p. 147, 300; cf. catalogue raisonné by Elisabeth Frottier, Michael Powolny. Keramik und Glas aus Wien 1900-1950 (Michael Powolny, Viennese ceramics and glass), Böhlau, Vienna-Cologne 1990, nr. 101, model no. 226, p. 60;
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The allegory of Winter from the four seasons-cycle of crinolines with its loving details can without a doubt be considered one of Powolny’s most beautiful figurines. Designed around 1910 as one of four ladies called crinolines, the Wiener Keramik produced this motif only in a very small edition of 25 pieces until 1912.
The statuette not only charms with the delicately drawn face but numerous details please the eye. It reveals how spectacular this design of Powolny was in terms of ceramics design. He displays an elegant lady hurrying to the Christmas celebrations, packed with numerous gifts. The centerpiece are the many presents draped on and around her fur muff. There’s something for just about everyone: a doll, a toy poodle, a jewelry box, chocolates and, not to be missed, mistletoes for the festive flower arrangements.
Powolny beautifully fits the colored glazes here. The way he creates the contrasting background for the gifts with the black coat can indeed be described as masterful. He succeeds in making the static ceramic sculpture imperceptibly dynamic. Thus, the foot protruding from under the long dress suggests that the lady is hurrying home with her many purchases. Likewise, the draped fabric and the offset hem of the coat suggest movement.
No matter from which side you look at this statuette, whether from the front or the side: the viewer is always presented with new, beautiful details that are simply delightful and, in a sense, a gift for the eye.
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