Bernard Palissy


About Palissy

Bernard Palissy was born in St. Avit, France in 1509. He spent most of his life in La Rochelle, France, as a writer, scientist, and most notably a potter. His education is unknown. Palissy was persecuted for being a protestant, but as his pottery was so valuable to society, he was able to land a job in Paris. Later on, he was even making pottery for the King and Queen of France. His work did not have official names or markings on them, but his pottery mainly consisted of platters, pots, and bowls, which were made from an array of outdoor materials. Later on in his life, he started writing and lecturing the public about natural history, leaving his mark in the field of science as well. He was imprisoned again in 1588 when the rise against Protestants reappeared. He died in prison two years later in 1590, at 81 years of age.

His Work

The platter shown to the left is from the late 1500s and is one of the more well-known pieces by Palissy. It can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. As mentioned above, there is no name or title given to the piece, and it is just called "rustic pottery". There were different techniques to his craft, as he did not use a spinning wheel, he used his hands. The platter depicts a pond with actual fish, snakes, plants, rocks, shells, and leaves plastered on to it. The type of pottery was in high demand because people in the Renaissance were fascinated with nature. Palissy displayed secularism in his art, finding a different way to do things that nobody else had thought of before. I find this piece interesting because of how the living plants and animals were incorporated into it.


"Bernard Palissy". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2013

"School of Bernard Palissy: Platter" (53.225.52) In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History . New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000

"Article - Palissy, Bernard." Article - Palissy, Bernard. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Rustic "ewer" 1565. Photograph. The Louvre, Paris, France. ArtSTOR. By Bernard Palissy. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Plate Illustrating the Myth of Perseus and Andromeda. N.d. Photograph. Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States. ArtSTOR. By Bernard Palissy. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Dish. N.d. Photograph. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. ArtSTOR. By Bernard Palissy. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Bernard Palissy. N.d. Photograph. Probert Encyclopedia. Web 18. Nov. 2013.

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