This column surmounted by a vase decorated with flowers is reminiscent of the Mediterranean majolica tradition. This piece is typical of Delphin Massier’s work, established in Vallauris for several generations, which usually expresses with exuberance the taste for a local flora and fauna. The column is surrounded by aquatic rushes and flanked by a heron, an emblematic bird of the ponds of Camargue. The circular vase is decorated with shimmering stems and flowers.
This particular model knew such a success that it was produced in several sizes and appeared in the sales catalogue of the collections of Delphin Massier published in 1908, one year after the artist's death.
Delphin Massier belongs to a family of ceramic artists. The family had been living in Vallauris since the 18th century. The following century saw the emergence of a high-quality art ceramic that favoured aesthetics over utility. This development was made possible by the systematic use of plaster molds that allowed the diffusion of models and the use of glazed earthenware that enabled a wide range of colors.
After setting up his workshop in Vallauris for a while, Clément Massier settled in 1883 in Golfe-Juan, a privileged place for tourists. He was also the instigator of the creation of a Fine Arts school in Vallauris to teach drawing to workers in ceramic workshops.
From 1886 onwards, he developed an important and high-quality glossy ceramic and surrounded himself with brilliant collaborators. He gave this traditional technique its letters of nobility and was at the origin of a real industrial and artistic revolution that gave a new and decisive impetus to the production of ceramics in Vallauris.