LARGE JAR C 1948/52
Bernard Leach (1887 – 1979)
- HEIGHT 31.8 CM
- STONEWARE, SPECKLED GREY-BROWN GROUND, WITH 'TREE OF LIFE' DECORATION
- Accession number
In the post-war Leach reached the height of his powers as an artist. He was regarded as the senior figure in British pottery, an accepted artist in Japan and was fast establishing a worldwide reputation. In St Ives he had an able assistant, William Marshall, who would throw the larger pieces on the wheel to Leach’s design. Leach would then take over the pot to give a final adjustment to the profile, add the neck and rim, cut the foot and decorate the piece. The work here is decorated with a Tree of Life motif, which was influenced by a Han-dynasty tomb-carving Leach may have seen during his visits to China, and became a frequent decoration from the mid-1940s. In a biographical note the artist wrote that ‘The subject is derived from very old traditions and maybe regarded as symbolic’. He does not, however, tell us exactly what these symbols meant to him.