Eugène Lion

Wabi Sabi stoneware vase with red glaze – Eugène Lion

Eugène Lion

Japanese style vase with green and red cover

Date : 1920

Dimensions : H : 16,5 cm ; diam : 16 cm

place of production: Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye

Material : Stoneware with copper red glaze

Condition : Good condition, a few firing bubbles at the foot - Signed Lion

References : The MET, New-York , The Art Institute of Chicago

Conditions & disponibilité: Available


of work

Stoneware vase with baluster and shouldered neck, red and green glaze

This magnificent baluster vase with shoulder was made by Eugène Lion, a leading representative of the Carriès school.
Made in stoneware probably around 1910-1920, it has a deep Bordeau red glaze characteristic of Eugène Lion’s Japanese ceramics. The shoulder neck has a textured verdigris glaze that emphasises the vase’s elaborate shape. The spirit of Japanese ceramics is fully at work in this vase with its Wabi-Sabi aesthetic.

Puisaye sandstone is renowned for its robustness and impermeability, even without the glaze, which is produced by vitrifying a clay with a high silica content fired at 1200-1300°C.

Around the 1920s, Eugène Lion formalised a copper-based slip formulation that enabled him to obtain the wine-red glaze for which he became famous. A vase with dark red hues similar to our own can be seen at the MET in New York.

Related works : Stoneware vase by Eugene Lion

This red-glazed stoneware vase, created by Eugène Lion of the Carriès school, embodies Japonism and Wabi-Sabi, from Puisaye.
Red-glazed stoneware vase by Eugène Lion, a ceramist from the Carriès school. Japonism and Wabi-Sabi emerge from this vase from Puisaye.
Eugène Lion dessiné d'après photo

Eugène Lion

Saint-Amand le Puisaye (France) 1867 - Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye (France) 1945

Amand Eugène Albert Lion was born on 9 April 1867 in Saint-Amand-le-Puisaye, an ancestral land of artisan potters since the 15th century. His father, Amand, himself a potter, passed on his knowledge and practice to him, as his own father had done before him.
Producing ceramics for everyday use, the arrival of the sculptor Jean Carriès in Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye around 1888 brought freedom and innovation to locals potters.

Eugène’s father was one of the first to welcome the sculptor Carriès into his workshop and give him his advice as an experienced potter. Eugène, in turn, assisted the master until Jean Carriès’s death in 1894, while continuing to produce his own work.
Jean Carriès exerted a strong influence on the practice and research of Eugène Lion, who, along with Jean and Léon Pointu, Paul Jeanneny and William Lee, can be considered one of the most important representatives of the Carriès school. Although he produced a large number of vases with a variety of shapes and glazes inspired by the work of Jean Carriès and Japanese ceramics, which were in vogue at the time, the spirit of the Puisaye potters is still clearly visible in the work of Eugène Lion.


Claiming a Japanese-style stoneware, he did not hesitate to produce ceramics that were strongly marked in their material, even to the point of deliberate deformation. Eugène Lion’s work expresses the spirit of Japanese ceramics, giving the impression of nature in action.
Renowned for his red-glazed stoneware, in the 1920s he developed a copper-based formulation that earned him a certain reputation. Close to a wine-red colour, Eugène Lion’s glazes are sometimes reminiscent of Pierre-Adrien Daplayrat’s brighter, purplish glazes.
His son Pierre took over the workshop when his father died in 1945. He continued the family heritage of craftsmanship and culture until the pottery closed in 1978, the year Pierre Lion died.

Related artist : Léon Pointu, french ceramist

the work

in its context

Eugène Lion’s ceramics are part of the Carriès school, which developed after Jean Carriès in Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye, a centre of stoneware production since the Middle Ages.

Its founder, Jean Carriès (1855-1894), chose it for the quality of its clay and its potters, with whom he learned the stoneware trade. A gifted sculptor and renowned, triumphant portraitist of the Paris of the 1870s and 80s, he decided to break away from sculpture, despite being at the peak of his art, in 1878, when he visited the Paris Universal Exhibition after attending a tea ceremony. Captivated by the beauty, purity and spiritual depth of Japanese stoneware, he decided to devote his life to stoneware, the “male of porcelain“.

Carte de visite d'Eugène Lion

The presentation of Japanese collections such as that of Emile Guimet at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1878 did much to spread the Japanese aesthetic in French art, particularly in the decorative arts such as ceramics. Codified in the 16th century by Sen no Rikyu, the tea ceremony encapsulates the essence of a ritualised Japanese aesthetic in search of perfection, which fascinated artists at the end of the 19th century through its relationship with nature and its acceptance of nature’s intervention in artistic creation. Like Jean Carriès, other great French ceramists such as Félix-Auguste Delaherche and Pierre-Adrien Dalpayrat were profoundly influenced by the Japanese aesthetic they discovered in their time.

Related work : Stoneware vase by Eugene Lion



Crafted by Eugène Lion, a Carriès school ceramist, this red-glazed stoneware vase shows influences of Japonism and Wabi-Sabi, originating from Puisaye.
Red-glazed stoneware vase by Eugène Lion, a ceramist from the Carriès school. Japonism and Wabi-Sabi emerge from this vase from Puisaye.


P. Monjaret & M. Ducret, <em>L’école de Carriès, l’art céramique à Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye 1888-1940</em>, Paris, Les éditions de l’amateur, 1997



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