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Josef Lorenzl

Austrian 1892 - 1950

When looking to the designs of the Art Deco period one talented sculptor that cannot be ignored is Josef Lorenzl. A master designer, his bronze statuettes and figural work epitomise the era perfectly. As with Preiss and Chiparus, the other great sculptors from this period, Lorenzl was inspired by the female form and the new found freedom that women enjoyed, which he executed beautifully both in his bronze and ceramic designs.

Although very little is known about Lorenzl’s early life he was born in Austria in 1892 and was soon to become one of the most talented sculptors of the Art Deco Period. He started by working for a bronze foundry in Vienna, where he produced enticing bronze statuettes. The majority of his works in bronze or bronze and ivory were of singular slim young female figures with long legs, conveying elegance and fluid movement.

Like his contemporaries Lorenzl’s work was often created using Chryselephantine, a Greek word which refers to the combination of various materials such as bronze, ivory, gold and silver. He signed his pieces in various ways sometimes abbreviating his name to Lor or Renz but on some of the statuettes you will find an additional signature by Crejo. A talented painter who worked alongside Lorenzl, Crejo would paint floral highlighted decoration onto the statuettes and these are the figures which bear his signature.

Owing to the success of his designs in bronze and ivory Lorenzl went on to work for the Austrian ceramics company Goldscheider. A celebrated sculptor with an eye for design Lorenzl epitomised the Art Deco era perfectly making him one of the most celebrated and iconic designers of the 20th Century.

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