Richard Joyce, 1873 - 1931


Richard Joyce 1873 - 1931


Globular vase, white earthenware, decorated with fish swimming amongst weeds, in silver and copper lustre over a streaked lustrous purple glaze.Thickly potted of globular shape tapering to flared foot, sloping shoulder and wide neck with thick everted rim. Decorated with patches of streaky brown and purple glaze, iridescent in places. Painted in silver lustre with three pairs of overlapping fish, each with copper lustre eyes and fins. In two of these pairs, the furthermost fish is a paler purplish lustre, nearmost a bright silver lustre. Nine thick weeds rise from rocky river bed round base in three pairs and three single stems, six in silver lustre, three in patchy copper lustre. Silver and copper bubbles intermingle with broad fronds of weeds round shoulder. Streaked iridescent silver lustre neck rim, blue interior.

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

Richard Joyce

Date Created



Whole: 21.6cm

accession number


Place of creation

Clifton Junction


On Display

[G3] Manchester Art Gallery - Gallery 3
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Presented by Mr Edward A Eason


© Manchester Art Gallery

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