Plate with overglaze painted design of a cat’s face and paws, decorated in yellow and purple paint
Duncan Grant (1885- 1978), [Omega Workshops (1913-1919)], Plate with overglaze painted design of a cat's face and paws, 1913. Glazed earthenware with yellow and madder painted decoration. Diameter: 25 cm; Diamand, Pamela (Mrs); gift; 1958. The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Plate with cat’s face and paws

Duncan Grant for the Omega Workshops Ltd, 1913

The Omega Workshops Ltd (1913–1919) sold homewares designed and made by artists. It was established in London by Roger Fry (1866–1934), in association with younger artists in the Bloomsbury Group, Vanessa Bell (1879–1961) and Duncan Grant (1885–1978). The Omega sought to bring avant-garde art into British homes and provide regular paid work for struggling artists. Opened on the eve of the First World War, it soon became a centre for pacifist resistance, holding concerts, publishing books, and celebrating international artistic collaboration.

One of the Omega’s specialities was ceramics. At first, artists painted directly on to ordinary commercial plates. Here, the artist Duncan Grant was inspired by the style of Fauve arists in France who produced colourful and painterly ceramics in the early 1900s.

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Two men sit across from each other at a table covered with a brown tablecloth, playing cards. Both men wear overcoats and hats, and the man on the left smokes a pipe. They sit inside a wooden building. i Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) The Card Players, around 1892-96, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

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