Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963

Jeunesse Franco-Allemande. Franco-German Youth. 1963.


Ceramic platter in white unglazed earthenware – terre blache – with strongly painted enamel decoration in six colours, yellow, blue, red, green and orange with black. 1963. Signed lower right. Also inscribed on the reverse:  Edition Originale de Jean Cocteau’ – Atelier Madeline Jolly.

Numbered 4 from the issue of 5 examples only. Very rare.

Ref: Annie Guedras – Jean Cocteau Poteries no 164

Provenance: Jean Cocteau Estate – Pottery studio. With a certificate from the Poteries Jean Cocteau.

Pristine unmarked condition. Diameter: 360mm


Cocteau met Philippe Madeline at the Madeline-Jolly ceramics studio in Villefranche in 1957. Inspired by the interest of other artist’s in his circle in painted ceramics, notably Picasso, he became fascinated by the medium. Whereas Picasso was interested in the sculptural possibilities of working the clay, as well as in the painted surface, Cocteau focussed on using the special surface of the traditional platter, bowl and vase forms, to make a new vehicle for the visual imagery and themes of his paintings, drawings and wall decorations.

‘Jeunesse Franco-Allemande’, here, uses the familiar confrontation of profiles and the patterns of ancient pottery but handled in extremely bold and vibrant colours. It is platter which exists in only five examples and is extremely rarely seen on the market.


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