French, est. c. 1850
Beaker vase, c. 1850–1860
30.5 x 15.2 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of C. Peter Kaellgren
This large, opaline beaker vase exhibits the impressive skills of Jean-François Robert. The French artist was well-recognized for developing and patenting a technique in the 1830s that widely extended the range of enamel colours possible for glass decoration, allowing for more naturalistic decoration. Opaline glass, first produced in Murano, Italy, in the seventeenth century, was used to great effect in nineteenth century France for highly decorative, ornamental glass. The solid, coloured surface of opaline glass provided an ideal surface for decorating and was at times painted in a manner similar to porcelain. Indeed, Robert was formerly a porcelain painter at Sèvres before founding his own glass decorating studio that provided services to a number of French glass factories. The particular factory responsible for this vase has not yet been identified.