Anthropomorphic Figure - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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Anthropomorphic Figure

Durrio, Francisco

Valladolid, 1868/05/22-Paris, 1940/08/30

Glass ceramics

32,6 x 50 x 33,6 cm

c. 1920-1927

20th century. First third


Donated by Flora Pié, 2012

As a potter, Durrio was interested above all in exploring the expressive and decorative potential of clays and kiln-fired colours. He first began to pick up pottery techniques at the workshop of potter Ernest Chaplet, where Gauguin also learnt. Durrio got to know Gauguin in 1893, and some of his pieces, including sinuously-lined vases and ashtrays, attracted the attention of Mallarmé and Morice, among a number of Symbolist writers. At the beginning of the century, recently arrived in Paris, Picasso moulded his first pottery sculptures at Durrio's Montmartre studio.

This is one of Durrio's most accomplished works, the outcome of formal and chromatic experimentation with ceramic as a sculptural material. Larger than other pieces, this creature with a humanised face and an undefinable body boasts extremely dynamic mobility and plasticity. By this work, Durrio has veered far from Gauguin, giving rise to a wholly personal iconography and style.

Selected bibliography

  • Francisco Durrio, 1868-1940 : sobre las huellas de Gauguin [Cat. exp.]. Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2013. p. 177, n° cat. 159.
  • Amezaga Massalleras, María. Paco Durrio : viviendo París. Bilbao, Muelle de Uribitarte, 2013. p. 50, il.