Edouard Dammouse

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Biography of Edouard Dammouse ( 1850-1903 )

Born in Belleville in Paris within an artists' family, Édouard Dammouse is the second son of Pierre Adolphe Dammouse, who used to be a sculptor and decorator at the Sèvres Factory. He really begins his art education with Félix Bracquemond, painter of genre, watercolorist, pastellist and engraver. Beside Marie Bracquemond, wife of this latter and artist herself, he perfects his technique of painting. Indeed she used to frequent number of renowned artists, among whom Courbet, Edmond de Goncourt, Degas, Manet, Fantin-Latour, Gauguin, as well as Monet whom she especially admires. She exposes with the impressionists in 1879 and 1880, and is named beside Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt and Eva Gonzalès. This is within that prolix environment that the young Dammouse learns the painting and makes his debuts at the 1879 French Artists Salon with a portrait of « Father Devers ».

From 1872, Édouard Dammouse also works beside ceramists. Indeed, Charles Haviland, avid to modernize the porcelain’s production of the Haviland factory in Limoges, entrusted Bracquemond with the direction of the Auteuil Street studio. This one avoiding appealing only to ceramists, asks painters to produce unique works of art and to realize real paintings on earthenware. Some new techniques of decoration were finalized by Ernest Chaplet at the Laurin factory in Bourg-la-Reine. By this way, Édouard Dammouse and his ceramist brother Albert, meet Chaplet. They will work with him for several years, even after the end of the factory in 1881. In Auteuil’s studio, Albert Dammouse discovers the charms of the stoneware, through his vases and busts, and all the possibilities of this material put back with current tastes. Then, the Dammouse brothers join Chaplet to his studio in Blomet Street from 1882 till 1886, and afterwards in 1887 they open their own manufacturing shop of stoneware, situated  on 12 Fountains Street in Sèvres.

One of the painting  that we present is precisely this workshop located in Sèvres. The painter represents his older brother immersed in his art at the background of the studio with one of his pupil in the foreground. Dammouse reveals the intimacy of this room and immerses the spectator in the ceramists world. On the wall, some Jules Chéret's posters bring colors and movement, whereas sculptures, busts and potteries are well aligned on shelves. Opposite to the ceramic decoration, Édouard Dammouse finds with the easel painting a bigger freedom in execution.  This allows him to catch the movement and to translate by the use of sober colors the entire delicacy of an inside studio. His precise and delicate touch as well as the multitude of details calls back however the accurate work of the ceramist. This painting pays hommage to the ceramists who are not only some craftmen but real artists.

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