A Tiffany Studios New York Art Nouveau "Magnolia", gold, white, pink, red, and green enamel on copper vase, by Louis Comfort Tiffany. This bespoke "Magnolia" enamel vase was designed from watercolor renderings and photographs from the enamel department''s lead designer, Agnes Northrop. Northrop depicted the saucer magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) on this enamel vase, an Asian variety that was hybridized in France and then introduced in this country in the early nineteenth century. Magnolias were among Tiffany''s favorite flowers, so much so that three "Magnolia" window panels decorated his first 72nd Street home and his garden estate, Laurelton Hall. In an interview for Town and Country Magazine, Tiffany compared his enameled vases against sapphires, topaz, opal, aquamarine, and other stones, and concluded that the enamels "showed much more depth and perspective than were found in the stones", an insight sensitively demonstrated in this monumental and masterful vase.Tiffany took a painterly, impressionist approach to his enamel work, in intentional contrast to renowned Japonesque and Renaissance Revival masters like Eugene Richet (enamel master for the house of Fontenay), Antoine Tard (enamel master for the house of Falize), and Paul Briançon (House of René Lalique). Much in the way that Tiffany used gemstones in his early jewels as mere means to achieve color effects and mome
ntary impressions of nature, here, his use of opulent, varicolored enamel conveys the essence of the flowers on the verge of full bloom, already overspilling the form.There was some minor touch up to the enamel at the top, otherwise it''s in lovely original condition. This Magnolia vase was exhibited in the Japanese leg of the Tiffany Masterworks exhibition that originated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art several years ago.
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