Walter Crane, 1845 - 1915


Walter Crane 1845 - 1915


Globular vase, tapered to narrow foot and curving in to narrow flared neck, decorated with reduction-fired copper red glaze. Painted silver lustre pattern round body of three female classical figures, each sailing in a small square-sailed galley with a swan neck at the bow and high three-feathered tail at the stern. Each boat accompanied by two small flying doves. Stylised waves below and spiral motifs above indicating clouds. Plain lustre inside neck and below rim. Lustre has taken on pink tinge from glaze and is streaked near the base. shape : 2472 pattern : Swan Ship & LL6169 range : Lancastrian

Display Label

Gallery text panel In Pursuit of Beauty Late Victorian Art and Design Improving the quality of British art and design had been a concern since the 1850s. The British Empire had expanded into new continents but it was the classical ideal of beauty, based on Ancient Greek and Roman culture that was still considered the model for serious art. The pursuit of beauty was a form of escapism from the mass-production of industrial Britain. As well as looking to the ancient world, artists and designers were delighted and inspired by the arts of Renaissance Italy, the Middle and Far East. Many of the paintings here feature a beautiful woman. Sometimes she is a passive, decorative form, but often she is a dark and brooding femme fatale, a symbol of seduction, deception and destruction. The 'fatal woman' may reflect late Victorian male fears as women campaigned for equal rights and new roles. The emphasis on colour, harmony and rhythm and simplifying the form of an object would become major concerns in the 20th century. They can be seen emerging here in the work of late Victorian artists and designers.

Object Name


Creators Name

Walter Crane

Date Created


accession number


Place of creation

Clifton Junction



Presented by Mr Edward A Eason


© Manchester Art Gallery

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