Michael Powolny


Bel Etage, Wolfgang Bauer, Vienna

Date 1915/16

Period 20th century

Origin Vienna

Medium red clay, ivory colour glaze

Dimension 125 cm (49¹/₄ inches)

Judenburg 1871 – 1954 Wien


designed by: Michael Powolny, around 1915/16, decoration for the men's steam-bath of the "Dianabad" in Vienna
executed by: Wienerberger Ziegelfabriks- und Baugesellschaft

The Neptune figure is the largest known ceramic figure designed by Michael Powolny. Firing a figure of this size entails a great deal of skill, organisation and expense. A number of these figures suffered kiln damage and had to be replaced. A total of eight were installed in the former Vienna Diana Baths with Leopold Forstner providing the mosaics for the niches. The re-building of the Diana Baths into the largest public baths in Central Europe was carried out in 1915–1917 according to plans drawn up by architect Peter Paul Brang. The Gebrüder Schwadron company employed a 100 man-strong crew for a full year to tile all the rooms in the baths. The Neptune figure, offered in their sales catalogue, was executed by the Wienerberger Ziegelfabriks- und Baugesellschaft. Sadly, the Diana Baths were demolished in 1968.

Date: 1915/16

Period: 20th century

Origin: Vienna

Medium: red clay, ivory colour glaze

Signature: Unmarked

Dimension: 125 cm (49¹/₄ inches)

Literature: E. Frottier, Michael Powolny, Keramik und Glas aus Wien 1900–1950, cat. raisonné 198, ill. 54, 55; T. Zickler (ed.), Brüder Schwadron, Neue Orte & Spuren, Vienna, 2014, p. 20–22

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Bel Etage, Wolfgang Bauer, Vienna

Viennese Jugendstil, Secessionist Movement

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