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The Sacred Fire of Georges Jouve

Published on , by Anne Doridou-Heim

When Georges Jouve (1910-1964) started designing furniture, he created coffee tables with colorful ceramics.

Georges Jouve (1910-1964), rectangular coffee table with metal structure, top featuring... The Sacred Fire of Georges Jouve

Georges Jouve (1910-1964), rectangular coffee table with metal structure, top featuring six orangey-red ceramic plates fixed with cement, c. 1959, h. 40.5/16 in, top 105 x 36.5 cm/41.3 x 14.4 in.
Result: €126,224

Georges Jouve's furniture appears less often on the market than his decorative objects. However, the ceramist who studied at the Boulle School created several rectangular coffee tables with a metal structure. This one features six highly attractive orangey-red ceramic plaques beautifully set off by the gray metal frame. The tiles are fixed with cement, according to a traditional technique adopted by the designer.

Jouve saw no hierarchy in the useful and the decorative: what came first in his view was the beauty of a piece. He was thus at odds with most ceramics masters, whose approach perpetuated the tradition of decisively utilitarian objects in pottery. Nor was he one of those artists who drew on techniques to create unique pieces. With his coffee tables, the craftsman abandoned volume, returning to the two-dimensional character of the tile. Since form in space was no longer a priority, he could focus entirely on the beauty of color. The stunning orangey-red shade he chose here, evoking the fire essential to create the material, garnered him €126,224. However, a 1904 view painted by Ferdinand Loyen du Puigaudeau (1864-1930) of Venise, voiles et gondoles (Venice, Sailboats and Gondolas) in front of the Doge's Palace, found no buyers.

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