Danish artist, illustrator, and ceramicist Bjørn Wiinblad was born in Copenhagen in 1918. He studied graphic arts at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, graduating in 1943. In 1946, Wiinblad joined Nymølle, a Danish pottery manufactory (which Wiinblad would eventually take ownership of in 1976). He opened his own design studio in 1952, and shortly after began designing for the German porcelain company Rosenthal. Wiinblad was appointed Rosenthal’s chief designer in 1957, a position that allowed him to travel across Europe while achieving international recognition.
Even though Bjørn Wiinblad was Copenhagen born and bred, and had trained in Copenhagen, his style was anything but Danish, and while functionalism ruled the roost in Denmark, Bjørn Wiinblad went the other way, espousing a style dominated by wavy lines, bright colours and romantic worlds.
The women – a consistent theme
The women were a consistent theme in the Wiinblad universe and production.
His women displayed a wide range of emotional nuances, and their eyes – specifically, their gaze – were always very special. As a rule, they looked out with openness and curiosity – but with traces of dejection, melancholy and mysticism.
The eyes meant something very special to Wiinblad, so even though he employed a large number of people, he always painted the eyes himself. The personality of the women also found expression through unusual heads and strange, sprout-like ears, short arms, small breasts and angular noses. In other words, the women were intensely ‘Wiinbladian’.
Wiinblad gave them beautiful names: Eva, Cæcilia, Bolette, Celestine, Dyveke and so on.