Rookwood Pottery, Something Wicked Panel

Jason Jacques Inc., New York

Date: 1901
Technique: Powdered pigments on cast plaster, 96.5 x 67.3 cm

Rookwood Pottery, an American firm that employed exceptionally talented sculptors and decorators, produced ceramic wares and architectural faience in a variety of styles. This example, commissioned for a Cincinnati gentleman’s club, illustrates the the moment when Shakespeare's Macbeth braving a violent thunderstorm, approaches three witches at their cauldron (Act IV, Scene I). Sensing his arrival, the Second Witch warns her sisters:
"By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes."
This theatrical composition was intended foe viewers with a taste for art, literature, and the macabre. Specially treated and colored to suggest a foul and fetid atmosphere, the relief is skillfully modeled and richly detailed.


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