Bernard Palissy Edit Profile
Bernard Palissy was apprenticed to a painter of stained glass and about 1539 settled at Saintes, where he worked at glassmaking, portrait painting, and surveying.
He was apprenticed to a painter of stained glass and about 1539 settled at Saintes, where he worked at glassmaking, portrait painting, and surveying. For many years Palissy experimented unsuccessfully in an effort to discover the secret of white enamel, being driven to burn his furniture for fuel when his resources were exhausted. He is noted for his invention of a new type of pottery, particularly his figulines rustiques, for which he was granted a royal patent. About 1562 he moved to Paris, was patronized by royalty, and became famous. Palissy was a staunch Huguenot, but was protected by Catherine de Médicis, Medicis, a Catholic. He is considered the founder of ceramics in France. His best-known piécespieces rustiques are dishes ornamented with fishes, snakes, frogs, lizards, shells, and plants that are marvelously true to nature in both form and color. Palissy's faïencefaience is of unusual style; ornaments were usually done in relief and colored in rich, subdued hues, with blues, grays, and yellows predominating. He also made reproductions in faïencefaience of pewter trays and ewers. Palissy made discoveries in chemistry and mineralogy and was one of the first men in Europe to formulate the correct theory regarding fossils. Many of his views on natural history have since been confirmed. In 1589 he was arrested as a Huguenot and confined in the Bastille, where he died shortly thereafter. His Oeuvres complètescompletes were edited by Cap in 1844 and by Anatole France in 1880. They contain a description of his investigations in ceramics, as well as writings on agriculture, natural sciences, and religion, and an interesting autobiography.
He was married and had children.