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Lucie Rie (1902-95)

Bowl c.1930-60

Earthenware | 8.0 x 20.6 x 20.6 cm (whole object) | RCIN 35060

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  • The Austrian-born ceramic artist Lucie Rie was the outstanding potter working in England in the second half of the twentieth century. Born Lucie Gomperz in 1902, she had studied at the Vienna Kunstgewerbe-Schule between 1922 and 1926, marrying in the latter year the businessman Hans Rie. Their apartment in Vienna was designed for them by the young architect Ernst Plischke, who had also recently qualified. Like Plischke, the Ries were forced to leave Austria in the autumn of 1938, but their departure resulted in separation; they headed first for London, which Hans Rie had regarded as a stepping-stone to the United States. When he embarked on this second journey, Lucie - who had already begun to re-establish her career in England and had spent a period of time working with Bernard Leach in Devon - stayed behind. The furnishings from her Vienna apartment were moved to London, to the studio she was to retain for the rest of her life in Albion Mews, Kensington. The Ries' marriage was dissolved in 1940.

    Soon after the war, Lucie Rie engaged as an assistant the German refugee Hans Coper, who was to become an outstanding potter himself and remained a long-standing and important artistic companion. They often exhibited their works together.

    This shallow, delicately potted bowl with its wide rim and tapered narrow foot is decorated with Rie's own bronze (manganese and copper carbonate) glaze and demonstrate her mastery - attained over nearly twenty years between the 1940s and 1960 - of a painstaking sgraffito (scratched) technique.

    Lucie Rie was honoured by The Queen three times with the OBE in 1968, CBE in 1981 and DBE in 1991.

    Catalogue entry from Royal Treasures, A Golden Jubilee Celebration, London 2002

    Part of a group of pictures and works of art acquired to decorate a new suite of guest rooms at Windsor Castle created for The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh by Sir Hugh Casson (1910-99) within the thirteenth-century Edward III Tower at the south-west corner of the Upper Ward.

  • Medium and techniques



    8.0 x 20.6 x 20.6 cm (whole object)