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French Ceramic Man with a Lamb by Jean Derval (circa 1950s)


SKU 0826B

French ceramic man with a lamb by Jean Derval (circa 1950s). Given Jean Derval's religious convictions, it's hard not to think of this exquisite ceramic sculpture as an explicit spiritual statement of hope, determination and faith. Derval expressed his Christian convictions in pieces he made in the 1950s depicting the Virgin, saints and characters for Provencal Christmas cribs. In Christianity, the lamb represents Christ as both suffering and triumphant; it is typically a sacrificial animal, and may also symbolise gentleness, innocence, and purity. A wonderful collector's piece - Derval's works continue to appreciate in value year after year. Upon request a video of the ceramic can be provided. In good vintage condition commensurate with age. Signed: 'JD' on the interior of the piece. Please see the many accompanying photos with this listing.

About the Artist: Jean Derval (1925 - 2010) went to Vallauris, France in 1947 where he worked initially with Roger Capron and Robert Picault. Jean Derval met Picasso in 1949 in the famous Madoura workshop where he trained with the master for two years. He set up his own pottery in 1951 but occasionally worked for other potters including his brother-in-law, Gustave Reynaud (founder of Le Mûrier pottery). Derval was awarded a major prize by the Cannes International Academy of Ceramics in 1955 and other prestigious medals for his exhibitions in Europe. His work was also shown in New York and Chicago between 1956 - 1960. Derval won awards at several Vallauris Biennales and in 1998, he was the subject of a film made by Pierre Rémy. His skills as a graphic artist are evident in the bowls, vases and figurines he designed in the early 1950s, which often relate to religious work and to Romanesque art. Yet he was receptive to the lessons of Cubism as is illustrated by the mutations of classic forms in many of his pieces. Far from ignoring the lessons of Abstraction, the decoration Derval used for vases, pitchers and bowls retained a warm friendliness sometimes mixed with highly stylised figurative motifs. His pieces are nearly always marked. They may bear the initials "JD" or the signature "Jean Derval" on one or two lines, or "Derval", painted under the glaze on the back. The signature "Jean Derval" on two lines in a square cartouche stamped in the clay and overglazed is not uncommon. Only a very few pieces are unsigned - some may bear the Le Mûrier Pottery mark (mulberry leaf), (Ref: French Pottery of the 50s by Pierre Staudenmeyer). 


H 26.5 cm / 10.4"

W 10 cm / 3.9"

D 7 cm / 2.8"