Skip to content

Monk’s Head, c. 1906

Leopold Museum,
Ceramic, light body, colored glazing
12×13.5×11 cm


  • Michael Powolny

    (Judenburg 1871–1954 Vienna)

  • Wiener Keramik
Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Together with Bertold Löffler (1874–1960), the ceramicist and sculptor Michael Powolny (1871–1954) set up a company, Wiener Keramik, in 1905. It collaborated closely with the Wiener Werkstätte and was eventually taken over by Gmundner Keramik in 1913 and successfully continued under the name of Vereinigte Wiener und Gmundner Keramik. Powolny designed this enigmatic sculpture around 1906. The colorfully glazed ceramic solely consists of the head of a monk, characterized by the typical tonsure and a strikingly emaciated face with sunken eyes. The head is literally framed by the cowl. It seems as if Powolny wanted to create a melancholic memento mori based on a religious figure in this small-sized work. This is also borne out by the man’s thoroughly resigned facial expression.

Object data

  • Design: Michael Powolny
  • Execution: Wiener Keramik
Monk’s Head
c. 1906
Art movement
Wiener Werkstätte, Art Nouveau
Ceramic, light body, colored glazing
12×13.5×11 cm
Pictorial mark inside: Wiener Keramik; monogram stamp: MP
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 4323
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Elisabeth Frottier: Michael Powolny. Keramik und Glas aus Wien. 1900 bis 1950. Monografie und Werkverzeichnis, Wien/Köln 1990.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Powolny 1990: 16

If you have further information on this object, please contact us.


Provenance research
Leopold Museum i
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (o.D.);
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 1994).

For provenance related information, please contact us.

Search in collection