|Aesthetic Period Transferware|
A large open mouthed fish swims through the depths accompanied by three others at a distan...
A large open mouthed fish swims through the depths accompanied by three others at a distance. The use of a blue wash in addition to the blue transfer printing gives the impression of an oriental ink study and, at the same time, creates an illusion of distance for the three smaller fish.
Typical of the "Aquarium" pattern we see neither the top surface or bottom floor of the body of water. Instead we are afloat along with the fish with only a few horizontal strokes of blue to provide orientation.
|Mark:||Impressed Mintons, workers marks and date code|
|Date:||Date code for 1876|
|Dimensions:||Diameter 9 in.|
The naturalism of this image, clearly based on observation of actual fish rather than conv...
The naturalism of this image, clearly based on observation of actual fish rather than conventional formulas, can be credited to the inspiration of Japanese artists such as Hokusai.
Atterbury and Batkin in their Dictionary of Minton (1990) credit William Wise for the design of the "Aquarium" pattern. Recent access to material from the Minton archive--long tied up in a legal battle--revealed a watercolor sketch for a known "Aquarium" plate signed by the French immigrant artist Goutard Leonce. In addition, there are strong links to the nature studies Leonce executed with partner Pierre Mallet for the Royal Danish Art Galleries (produced by Wedgwood). The corrected attribution seems secure.
Leonce supplied Minton with individual images of fish, aquatic plants and occasionally frogs, lizards and crustaceans which Minton employed in a variety of combinations and formats -- sometimes in blue, but sometimes in a vivid Chinese red; sometimes monochrome, sometimes colorfully enameled; sometimes on a white ground, sometimes on a delicate blue or celadon; sometimes on a totally blank field, sometimes bordered. In all cases, the "Aquarium" achieves a fluid, floating and often vaguely ominous effect.