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ARISTIDE MAILLOL Grande baigneuse debout (Large Standing Bather) Circa 1900

aillol created Grande baigneuse debout in 1900 in boxwood. It was shown in 1902 by Ambroise Vollard, and the art dealer bought it from the artist. It is mentioned in a contract made between Vollard and Maillol on 10 September 1902: “a large statue in boxwood – a woman standing with her arm behind her head – a unique work – original.” The history of this boxwood original is wellknown; in 1905, it belonged to Gustave Fayet; it then went to Vollard’s gallery and then to Druet’s. By 1908, it belonged to Count Harry Kessler, and in 1933, it joined the collection of Oskar Reinhart, and today it belongs in the Sammlung Oskar Reinhart am Römerholz in Winterthur. Maillol made a plaster mold of the wooden statue for an edition in terra-cotta and one in bronze cast by Claude Valsuani. In 1913, the Kunsthalle in Mannheim acquired from Vollard a bronze of the Standing Bather. The bronze sculpture of the bather bought by the Mannheim museum in 1913 is another version, and was sand cast by Bingen and Costenoble (height 75 cm – 29.5 in). Maillol made several versions of Grande baigneuse debout in plaster, with and without drapery, and altering both the face and the base. Our example of Grande baigneuse debout was acquired in September 1945 by a well-known connoisseur directly from Eugène Rudier, Aristide Maillol’s founder and dealer. Rudier developed regular commercial relationship with the buyer, who also bought at the same time another Maillol bronze, a cast of L’Île de France (no. 2/6). Eugène was the son of Alexis Rudier, who started the foundry in Paris in 1874, first in the rue Charlot and then in the rue de Saintonge. When he died in 1897, his wife and his son Eugène took over the business, but kept the “Alexis Rudier” signature. From 1902 on, Eugène worked for Rodin, and when Rodin died in 1917, he became the Rodin Museum’s exclusive founder. From 1905 on, Eugène also began doing castings for Maillol. In 1934, Eugène Rudier moved the foundry to new studios at Malakoff. His position as the exclusive founder for the Rodin Museum and the numerous commissions he received from the state for the 1937 International Exposition put the foundry in a prominent position in the field and allowed him to employ some forty people. At this time, Eugène Rudier also became Maillol’s exclusive dealer. Our bronze has been kept in the same family since it was acquired from Rudier in 1945, one year after the artit’s death, and this is the first time that it is offered on the market. This cast was made between 1940 and 1942, this has been confirmed by Olivier Lorquin, expert on and beneficiary of the artist. ––


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David Lévy - TEFAF Maastricht 2018  

David Lévy - TEFAF Maastricht 2018