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Claudius Linossier Dinanderie Vase


This intricate spherical copper vase is decorated with silver, brass inlay on an anthracite ground. The vase features a frieze of triangle fractals (termed Sierpiński triangles), concentric red patinated copper, brass and silver lozenges, and silver and brass chevrons. The triangle fractals featured in this vase were likewise included in Maurice De Guérin’s poem “Le Centaure”, the only book illustrated by Linossier.

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  • Curator's Notes

Item #: B-20507
Artist: Claudius Linossier
Country: France
Circa: 1930
Dimensions:  9" height, 10" diameter 
Materials: Copper, silver, brass
Provenance: Former Claudius Linossier collection; former Mr. & Mrs. Fila collection, testamentary legatees of Linossier, who have since remained in the family.
Signed: "CL-LINOSSIER" and "1930"

The inverted triangle fractal pattern was widely used by Linossier’s teacher Jean Dunand, yet both artists were ultimately inspired by the Byzantines. These patterns were most often found in the glass mosaics (opus grecanicum) and marble pavements (opus alexandrinum) of the Romanesque period of Byzantine art. These patterns were published in the widely consulted Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones, even including the same red, black, silver, and brass colorway used by Linossier in his dinanderie and illustrative work. The pattern was termed the Sierpiński triangle by Polish mathematician Wacław Sierpiński in 1915. Many mathematicians in the Art deco period sought to investigate the ubiquity of fractals in medieval textiles and decorative arts.

Geometric Byzantine mosaics underwent a revival in 12th century Italy under the Cosmati family of craftsmen. Their eponymous “Cosmatesque” ornament can be found in the most prominent churches of the High Renaissance, including the Sistine Chapel, Westminster Abbey, and the Raphael Rooms at the Vatican. As dinanderie was often used as an ecclesiastical form of art, such references were entirely appropriate and only add to the harmony of the piece.