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Arts of Europe

The MFAH collections of art created on the European continent encompass artistic styles across the time line of history, from the ancient world to the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern era to the 21st century.

 
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VILMÓS ZSOLNAY
Hungarian, 1828 - 1900
Bottle
1890–1900
Porcelain-faience

9 1/2 x 7 3/16 x 3 3/16 inches

 
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Mecom, Jr.

Arts of Europe
 
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With its plant forms and organic lines, this bottle typifies the Art Nouveau style. The intense, ruby red glaze—invented by Vilmós Zsolnay—combines with gilding to produce a dazzling, iridescent effect.

Fine examples of Art Nouveau pottery such as this bottle were made at the Zsolnay ceramics factory in Pècs, Hungary. Founded in 1853 by Miklos Zsolnay to produce vases, tiles, plates, and architectural ornaments, the factory later expanded into art pottery in the Art Nouveau style under the direction of Zsolnay's son, Vilmós. In the 1890s, Vilmós invented eosin, the intense red glaze used here. The sinuous stems of the dark red flowers are formed by whiplash curves, a classic Art Nouveau motif.