The Green Man plate - 1992
The Green Man plate is one of a series of six designs commissioned by the National Art Collections Fund. John Piper’s subject is a character originating from ancient English folklore and pagan beliefs. Typifying the energies of spring the Green Man is a robustly virile figure. Piper captures the raw natural power of the figure perfectly.
‘The Green Man’ plate was one of an edition of 500 in a series of six designs commissioned from Wedgwood by the National Art Collections Fund. Made in the rich ornamental black basalt body the upper surface has been glazed and decorated with the raw and powerful ‘Green Man’ design. John Piper found the inspiration for the image of the foliate head, a recurrent motif of his work, on medieval church roof bosses and column capitals. A character from English folklore the Green Man typifies a respect for nature that originated in pagan beliefs. The potent figure robustly represented the energies of spring. Piper is perhaps best known as a great topographical artist, painting Britain’s churches, chapels, houses and gardens – he also designed stage sets for operas, and also produced artwork for stained glass windows including those at Coventry Cathedral.
- Type of object: Dinner ware/plate
- Mark: [Portland vase] WEDGWOOD MADE IN ENGLAND 'THE GREEN MAN' John Piper [Signature] NATIONAL ART COLLECTIONS FUND One of an edition of 500 in a series of six designs commissioned by The National Art Collections Fund & Wedgwood [Printed in gold] WEDGWO
- Year first produced: 1992
- Body: black basalt
- Material: ceramic
- Decoration: silk-screen print lithographed
- Accession number: 9259
- Dimensions: 18 mm (height), 312 mm (diameter)
John Piper - Artist (1903 - 1992)
The painter and printmaker John Piper was born in Epsom and educated at Epsom College. He trained at the Richmond School of Art, followed by the Royal College of Art in London and was later appointed an official war artist in the Second World War. Piper was predominantly inspired by the landscape of Britain, and especially church architecture. This was reflected by some of his commissions, which included co-designing the stained-glass windows for Coventry Cathedral and creating tapestries for Chichester Cathedral. Piper was also well known for his work designing theatre sets.