RENÉ BUTHAUD (1886-1986)

Apothecary jar, 1928

Glazed ceramic. Signed, dated and marqued : "This vase was executed / for Mr Rivière pharmacist / by R.Buthaud ceramist in Bordeaux / MCMXXVIII".

H 96,5 cm (H 38 in)


M. Rivière, Bordeaux.


This decorative pharmacy pot is part of a commission of four pharmacy pots ordered to the artist by Mr. Georges Rivière in 1928. They were intended for a pharmacy rue Sainte-Catherine in Bordeaux. All of them have a different decoration but always include a snake, sometimes a kind of orvet coiled around a flower, sometimes a snake with a spotted body, alternately undulating in front of a large flower, wrapping itself around a cup or, in the case of our example, wrapping itself around a large ampoule of hypodermic serum.
On their front side, large undressed women are shown either from behind or from the front. Sculptural and sensual, hieratic and mysterious, they present some symbolic objects of the pharmaceutical art: the mortar reminds galenics - a kind of manometer, the analysis - the Codex - the regulatory obligations of pharmacists - and for our piece, the furnace and the retort representing Chemistry.


Céramiques de René Buthaud, Musée des Arts Décoratifs de la Ville de Bordeaux, 1976.


ARLERY (Sylvie), DEVAUX (Guy), 'Les céramiques pharmaceutiques de Buthaud', extrait de la Revue d'Histoire de la Pharmacie 1997, 45 (315), 279-288 this vase represented on pl.IV p.288.
"Céramiques de René Buthaud", Exibition catalog, Museum of the Decorative Arts of the city of Bordeaux, 1976, p. 66-71.
P. Cruège, "René Buthaud 1886-1986", Les Editions de l'Amateur, Paris, 1996, p. 136.