Prelovsek AHAS 1angl


Plečnik’s chalices and ancient Greek ceramics

Training in Vienna left a lasting influence on the work of the Slovene architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957). He was acquainted with G. Semper’s theory of cladding there, based on the idea of a creative modification of antique handicraft. Plečnik’s chalices – he first set to design them while living in Prague – clearly show how thoroughly the artist studied ancient Greek ceramics to seek for inspiration. He learned about antiquity from Semper’s book Der Stil, and understood the German theoretician very unconventionally in the spirit of Viennese Secession which sought to modernize the traditional formal language. He modified the ornament by way of transposing it into new materials, or by using it in contexts other than original. He also applied the same rules in monumental architecture. Thus, it is exactly his chalices that are the clue to understanding Plečnik’s way of creation.