- Museum number
Porcelain medallion, hard-paste porcelain, mould-made, with the head of Athena in relief, the helmet and hair painted underglaze in beige with gilded highlights and crest, the face left in plain white glazed porcelain, against a pale green ground. Factory mark on reverse.
- Production date
- 1912-1914 (circa)
Diameter: 103 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This medallion may have been designed as a souvenir of the Bayerische Gewerbeschau held in Munich in 1912, either by Klee himself or one of his students. As Director of the Fachschule für Porzellan Klee's influence on a whole generation of ceramic designers was enormous and he was himself a designer of considerable stature, known for his elegant decorative table and ornamental wares and his animal figures. The contribution of the Fachschule Selb to the Bayerrishes Gewerbeschau in 1912 was wdiely admired, so much so that the animal figures completely sold out (see 'Die Bayerische Gewerbeschau München', Kunst und Handwerk, vol. 63, Munich 1912/13, p. 49). Among the exhibits designed by Klee was a plaque depicting the Three Kings which is remarkably similar in conception to this medallion (see 'Die Bayerischen Fachschulen', in Die Kunst, vol. 26, Munich 1912, p. 529-36).
The choice of Athena as a motif reflects the philhellene King Ludwig I of Bavaria's dream of turning Munich into the 'Athens on the Isar' in the early 19th century, witht he construction of a series of neo-classical buildings (his son Otto became the first King of Greece in 1832). The design for this medallion may have been inspired by the statue of Athena by Fritz Drexler, installed on the Maximiliansbrücke in 1906. (much of the information in this entry kindly supplied by Graham Dry).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number