Mayodon was born in Sèvres on December 29, 1893. He received no specialized training but grew up in an artistic environment. As a child, he enjoyed drawing and received advice from his neighbor, the engraver Bracquemond. Later, he met Henri Cros, Claude Monet, Isadora Duncan, and at her home, Rodin and Bourdelle, who inspired his love for antiquity. His father wanted him to learn English and sent him to England where he spent two years with an antique dealer: there he restored furniture, paintings, and art objects, thus developing his natural skills and talents.

Returning in 1912, he created his first ceramics, which he fired at his neighbors' place before setting up his kilns in his birthplace, his current residence. From 1920, he exhibited at the Salons d'Automne, from 1922 at the Decorative Artists, from 1930 at the Nationale des Beaux-Arts, from 1936 at the Tuileries.

He participated in all the International Exhibitions, (vice-President of the ceramic class, in Paris, in 1937) and abroad, where he won diplomas and grand prizes.

Vice-president of the Société des Artistes Décorateurs, Treasurer of the Tuileries, Artistic Director of the Manufacture de Sèvres in 1941-1942, member of its Artistic and Technical Council since 1942, professor of ceramics at the Elisa Lemonnier School from 1935 to 1937, he was invited, with a group of French artists, by the Egyptian Government in 1948. He has given lectures on ceramics and taught at the Schools of Fine Arts in Cairo and Alexandria.

His works can be found in museums in Paris and abroad and in numerous private collections. He has received orders from the State and the City of Paris, and completed works for the ships "Normandie", "Flandre", "Pasteur", etc.

Mayodon, a Knight of the Legion of Honor since 1931, was promoted to Officer in 1954.

Apart from monumental pieces (pools, fountains, garden vases) for which he adopted glazed stoneware, Mayodon has chosen fine earthenware, whose painted decorations are always highlighted or veiled in gold, as his medium of expression.

Successive firings and skilful technical processes, where the influence of Jean Metthey, whom he knew and considered as one of the masters of contemporary ceramics, can be seen, give his objects, vases, bowls, dishes, whose shapes and decoration are inspired by antiquity, a sumptuousness that evokes that of fabrics embroidered in gold and silks.

Through his themes, arabesques of naked bodies, flights of dancers, stylized animals, his taste for sculpture as well as painting, which he cultivates at the same time as ceramics, is expressed.

His sense of volumes and rhythms has led him to design plaques, round ornaments and even furniture legs, genuine enamelled and gilded sculptures for decorators. In particular, he has collaborated with Ruhlmann and Jallot.

The preciousness of certain motifs with jade-green, turquoise-blue gem colours have also sometimes given them a place in the goldsmith's work of Jean Després. Enthralled by the multiple resources of a craft of which he knows all the secrets, Mayodon has, in a completely different order of research, composed countless decorated and enamelled tiles for luxury bathrooms where, as in his display objects, the initial and lasting influence of ancient art and particularly Greek vases on the evolution of his personality is found.


Sources : Mobilier et Decoration N° 5 Juin 1954

Photo : Marc Vaux