N Inv.: CE1 / 07289
This polychrome earthenware vase has two feminine figures as handles holding the central cup which is decorated with a floral motif. It rests on a moulded base signed by Benlliure.
It is a decorative centrepiece and was originally found in the sitting room of the artist’s home studio on calle José Abascal in Madrid. The building was designed in a Art Nouveau style by Enrique María Repulles, but has remnants of Otto Wagner in the exotic fruit-and-flower decorations and childish ceramic themes. The decorative objects inside the residence must have been in keeping with the theme.
Art Nouveau influence is evident in this piece, in which Benlliure abandons the Realism style, which is a characteristic of his portraits, sculptures and monuments. This movement brings together a number of different styles, one of which is characterised by curves and undulating lines and motifs inspired by nature that are applied to all kinds of decorative objects and architecture.
Mariano Benlliure (1862-1947) was initially trained as a painter while staying in Paris with his mentor, Domingo Marqués. Later he stayed in Rome where, greatly influenced by Michelangelo’s work, he decided to devote himself to sculpture.
In pieces like this, Mariano Benlliure let his creativity and imagination run wild, freeing himself from anything pre-defined and focusing only on expression and experimentation with different materials and textures. The aim was to make delicate objects to decorate gardens and create beautiful interiors.
Another piece by Benlliure is on display in the room: a sculpture depicting the dancer Pastora Rojas Monje, also known as Pastora Imperio.
On display in Sala del Modernismo y movimientos del siglo XX (Art Nouveau and 20th Century Movements Room), second floor.