Fina Gomez
Portrait of Fina Gomez DR

The Fina Gomez Collection of Modern Ceramics

Paris – Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr is pleased to announce the upcoming online auction of works from the Collection Fina Gomez, 30 ans de céramique contemporaine, Part One, from 8 to 15 November at The sale offers a rare opportunity to acquire works from an important and established collection of modern ceramics with estimates from €200 to €6,000.

Claire Debril Vase
Claire Debril Vase, 1989 Estimate: €2,000 – 3,000

The Collection Fina Gomez has an impeccable provenance and exhibition history. In 1991, the collection was presented at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris in an exhibition curated by Yvonne Brunhammer, which was also accompanied by a catalogue that fully documented each of the works. Informed by Gomez’ aesthetic sensibilities, the collection is composed of minimalist and organic forms often with matte glazes that reflect contemporary ceramics from the 1960s to the 1990s. 

The Venezuelan-born Fina Gomez (1920-1997) was devoted to the arts, including painting, sculpture and architecture. In 1961, she created the Fina Gomez Foundation to promote and support artistic and cultural exchange between South America and Europe. The following year, Gomez presented the exhibition ‘100 years of painting in France’ at the Museum of Fine Arts in Caracas, subsequently, where she met the ceramicist Christina Merchán, whose work inspired her interest in ceramics. Her passion for ceramics led her to La Borne where she then met Elisabeth Joulia, Yves and Monique Mohy, and Anne Kjaersgaard. In Bitry, Gomez often visited Robert Deblander, whose glazes in delicate tones of pink, mauve, ochre, yellow, grey-green and copper red, greatly appealed to her. The collection reflects Gomez’ interest in the ceramic surface and glazes, which led her to the work of Daniel de Montmollin, Claire Debril, Jean Girel and Edouard Chapallaz, whose stoneware works Gomez began collecting in 1968. Notable examples from the collection include an earthenware vase by Claire Debril (estimate: €2,000 – 3,000) acquired in 1989 from

the Galerie Mai in Paris and a stoneware vase by Pierre Culot (estimate: €3,000 – 5,000), whose approach to coloured glazes reflects that of a painter to his canvas.

Marcus McDonald, Bonhams’ Director of the Design department, said: “For more than thirty years, Fina Gomez laid her refined and exquisite eye on works that have become historical pieces. Her appreciation gave them an existence. Fina Gomez combined her fondness and connoisseurship for ceramics with the art of friendship. She did not disassociate the makers from their work and was profoundly happy to discover and meet exceptional artists.”

Additional sale highlights: 

-Shoji Hamada (1894-1978) Bottle, circa 1963 Estimate: €2,500-3,000 

-Francine Del Pierre (1913-1968) Bowl, 1967 Estimate: €800 – 1,200

Pierre Bayle (1945-2004) ‘Palladio’ cachepot, 1984 Estimate: €2,000 – 3,000  

 Élisabeth Joulia (1925-2003) ‘Châtaignes’, circa 1967 Estimate: €4,000 – 6,000


“Ceramics, tactile and visual, whose silent and permanent presence, moving  

with the reflections they receive, welcoming and never rejecting them, born from the hands of man; ceramics, that art of patience, that art without anger, is my secret land”.

Born in 1920, Fina Gomez, the granddaughter of president of Venezuela Juan Vicente Gomez, during her teenage years found a passion for photography. Over time she became an admired photographer, developing and printing work in her Paris studio, and studying with Madame d’Ora (Dora Kallmus), the famous fashion and portrait photographer. From 1945 to 1969 Gomez exhibited in Caracas and Paris and published books of her photographs often in association with poets and writers. In 1992, Gomez was awarded the Venezuelan National Prize for Photography. 

In 1961, she created the Fina Gomez Foundation to promote and support artistic and  

cultural exchanges between Latin America and Europe, which over the subsequent 20 years it organised and funded many exhibitions of art, ceramics, cultural events, tribal artefacts and books. From 1962-1963, Gomez worked with the French and Venezuelan governments, to bring a major exhibition of French Impressionists to Venezuela. Her close friends and acquaintances included Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jesus Soto, Genevieve Asse, Pierre Seghers, Cristina Merchan, Manuel Angeles Ortiz, Baltasar Lobo, Armando Barrios, Alejandro Otero, Hector Poleo, Mercedes Pardo, Fance Franck, Emilio Pettoruti, Pablo Picasso and Mercedes Guillen, Yves Saint-Laurent, and Christian Dior.

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