Austrian, est. 1836
Vase, c. 1900
28 x 12.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Mr. Arthur King, Montreal
The Loetz-Witwe glassworks at Klostermühle in Southern Bohemia were accomplished producers of iridescent glass, having begun extensive experiments with the technique created in the 1890s under then-director Max Ritter von Spaun (1856–1909), grandson of the firm’s original founder Johann Loetz (d. 1848). Interest in iridescent glass was spurred by recent archeological discoveries of ancient glass that, due to centuries of chemical reactions with carbonic acid in the soil, had corroded, providing an iridescence to the glass surface. The prismatic effects of iridescence were greatly admired and used to much effect during the Art Nouveau period. This tulip-shaped vase, with its natural yet stylized form and entwined foliage, evokes the organic sensibilities of Art Nouveau; the delicate colouring exploits the play of light across the passages of iridescence.