SLADMORE ANNUAL EXHIBITION 2010
THE SLADMORE GALLERY 57 Jermyn Street, St James’s London SW1Y 6LX +44 (0)20 7629 1144 email@example.com www.sladmore.com
This annual exhibition catalogue features a selection of works drawn from our current stock of important nineteenth and twentieth century sculpture. Of particular note are the five unique sculptures by Rembrandt Bugatti, each one cast in just a single example. In addition, Mes Antilopes is his only completed life-size work, at over two metres in length. The financial situation over the last eighteen months has undoubtedly had an impact on the art market. Whatever its effect, at the Sladmore we prefer to stick to our long-standing commitment that buying the best always represents good value in the long term. We look forward to seeing you here in Jermyn Street or over the coming year at one of the following art fairs where we will be exhibiting: Maastricht in March, New York in early May and Paris in September. Edward Horswell Gerry Farrell January 2010
SLADMORE 2009–2010 This year marks the 45th anniversary of the gallery opened by my parents, Jane and Harry Horswell, at Sladmore Farm in Buckinghamshire, which was also home to their collection of exotic birds and animals. The gallery relocated a few years later to a Mayfair mews building in London, where our contemporary branch is housed today. 2009 was a busy year, with a major exhibition of large outdoor sculpture held in the valley gardens at Woburn Abbey, by kind invitation of the Duke and Duchess of Bedford. The gardens, designed and laid out 200 years ago by Humphry Repton, were in full bloom and were a wonderful backdrop to the diverse selection of traditional and contemporary works on display. The Sladmore was also invited to take part in the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Ettore Bugatti Car Company at the Château St Jean, Molsheim, where the bulk of Bugatti’s cars were produced, and which is today the home of the Veyron supercar. With 100 vintage cars circling the château, our exhibition inside celebrated the artistic genius of two other members of the Bugatti family – Carlo and Rembrandt. A chosen selection of Rembrandt’s sculpture was interspersed with furniture and rare silverware by Carlo. A particular highlight was a large unique bronze of Three Antelopes, previously from the collection of Ettore Bugatti, and now back once again, albeit briefly, in its former home. In-house exhibitions at Sladmore Contemporary in Bruton Place included two Sladmore regulars, Nic Fiddian-Green and Geoffrey Dashwood, both of whom saw strong sales,
particularly for monumental works. Nic’s 30-foot-high Drinking Horse Head was sited in the centre of Marble Arch, initially for the month of June, but by popular demand it is still there while preparations for its final destination are finalised. Since moving our traditional sculpture department to Jermyn Street in 2008, Sladmore Contemporary has expanded its exhibition schedule, and in 2009 featured two new sculptors: Edouard Martinet from France with his witty and visually arresting sculptures of creatures made from found objects; and Nicola Lazzari from Italy with his charming small-sized sculptural curiosities in bronze. Apart from a busy art fair schedule, in autumn 2010 we will mount in our Jermyn Street gallery an exhibition of ‘Cabinet’ bronzes, largely drawn from our collection of nineteenth century animal sculpture, but also including some works by early twentieth century artists. Bruton Place meanwhile has a full exhibition programme for 2010, starting with Nick Bibby’s modern-day take on Herbert Haseltine’s famous ‘Championship British Animals’ series from the 1920s. In May, Sophie Dickens’s second show with us will feature the first showing of her monumental Minotaur in stainless steel, amongst other smaller scale works. Do please visit our galleries in person if you can, or visit our revamped website, sladmore.com Edward Horswell
Opposite (left): The Sladmore Contemporary gallery in Bruton Place; (right) Sladmore Gallery in Jermyn Street. Right: The Sladmore Bugatti exhibition at the 100th anniversary celebrations at Ch창teau St Jean, Molsheim. Below: Work by Sophie Dickens in the outdoor sculpture exhibition at Woburn Abbey.
ANTOINE-LOUIS BARYE, Roger and Angelique
ANTOINE-LOUIS BARYE, Tiger Attacking a Horse
JOSEPH BERNARD, The Water Carrier
FERNANDO BOTERO, Sitting Woman
REMBRANDT BUGATTI, Horse and Donkey
REMBRANDT BUGATTI, Mes Antilopes
REMBRANDT BUGATTI, Family of Yaks
REMBRANDT BUGATTI, Two Flamingos
REMBRANDT BUGATTI, Tiger Toying with a Snake
ALBERIC COLLIN, Long-Eared Owl
EDGAR DEGAS, Drinking Horse
HERBERT HASELTINE, Portuguese Bullfighters
HERBERT HASELTINE, Suffolk Punch Stallion
ARISTIDE MAILLOL, Study for La Méditerranée
ARISTIDE MAILLOL, Standing Nude, Harmony
ERNEST MEISSONIER, Horseman in the Wind
FRANCOIS POMPON, Condor
FRANCOIS POMPON, Crowned Crane
FRANCOIS POMPON, Polar Bear Head
AUGUSTE RODIN, Jean d’Aire
AUGUSTE RODIN, Head of Pierre de Wissant
EDOUARD-MARCEL SANDOZ, Fennecs du Sahara
PAUL TROUBETZKOY, Standing Girl with Ponytail
PAUL TROUBETZKOY, Horse and Jockey
ROBERT WLERICK, Lulu Lapalue, Nude Torso
1 ANTOINE-LOUIS BARYE Roger Abducting Angelique on the Hippogriff 1840 21 x 28 x 11 in 53 x 71 x 28 cm
2 ANTOINE-LOUIS BARYE Tiger Attacking a Horse circa 1855 11 x 15 x 6 in 28 x 38 x 15 cm
3 JOSEPH BERNARD The Water Carrier 1910 72 x 24 x 35 in 184 x 61 x 89 cm
4 FERNANDO BOTERO Sitting Woman 1976 41 x 23 x 28 in 104 x 59 x 71 cm
5 REMBRANDT BUGATTI Horse and Donkey 1902, unique piece 9 x 19 x 7 in 23 x 49 x 17 cm
6 REMBRANDT BUGATTI Mes Antilopes 1908, unique piece 35 x 83 x 24 in 90 x 210 x 60 cm
7 REMBRANDT BUGATTI Family of Yaks 1910, unique piece 14 x 34 x 13 in 36 x 86 x 33 cm
8 REMBRANDT BUGATTI Two Flamingos 1912, unique piece 15 x 19 x 5 in 38 x 49 x 13 cm
9 REMBRANDT BUGATTI Tiger Toying with a Snake 1915, unique piece 15 x 23 x 7 in 37 x 59 x 19 cm
10 ALBERIC COLLIN Long-Eared Owl circa 1925 10 x 7 x 4 in 25 x 18 x 10 cm
11 EDGAR DEGAS Drinking Horse circa 1865 6 x 8 x 6 in 16 x 21 x 14 cm
12 HERBERT HASELTINE Portuguese Bullfighters 1921 11 x 11 x 4 in 27 x 28 x 10 cm
13 HERBERT HASELTINE Suffolk Punch Stallion circa 1921 13 x 12 x 6 in 33 x 31 x 14 cm
14 ARISTIDE MAILLOL A Plaster Study for La Méditerranée 1902–05 9 x 7 x 5 in 22 x 18 x 14 cm
15 ARISTIDE MAILLOL Standing Nude, Harmony 1940–44 60 x 15 x 14 in 152 x 38 x 36 cm
16 ERNEST MEISSONIER Horseman in the Wind circa 1878 19 x 23 x 9 in 48 x 58 x 23 cm
17 FRANCOIS POMPON Condor 1918 8 x 6 x 3 in 20 x 15 x 8 cm
18 FRANCOIS POMPON Crowned Crane 1926, modèle 11 x 4 x 4 in 28 x 11 x 11 cm
19 FRANCOIS POMPON Polar Bear Head 1930 14 x 16 x 18 in 36 x 40 x 45 cm
20 AUGUSTE RODIN Jean d’Aire 1887 18 x 5 x 6 in 47 x 12 x 15 cm
21 AUGUSTE RODIN Head of Pierre de Wissant 1900 10 x 8 x 8 in 27 x 20 x 20 cm
22 EDOUARD-MARCEL SANDOZ Fennecs du Sahara 1926 15 x 24 x 18 in 37 x 61 x 46 cm
23 PAUL TROUBETZKOY Standing Girl with Ponytail circa 1894 19 x 6 x 6 in 48 x 14 x 15 cm
24 PAUL TROUBETZKOY Horse and Jockey 1933 16 x 17 x 7 in 41 x 42 x 18 cm
25 ROBERT WLERICK Lulu Lapalue, Nude Torso 1931 30 x 11 x 9 in 77 x 28 x 23 cm
1 ANTOINE-LOUIS BARYE French, 1796–1875
2 ANTOINE-LOUIS BARYE French, 1796–1875
Roger Abducting Angelique on the Hippogriff 1840 21 x 28 x 11 in; 53 x 71 x 28 cm
Tiger Attacking a Horse circa 1855 11 x 15 x 6 in; 28 x 38 x 15 cm
A rare, fine quality mid nineteenth century bronze model of Roger Abducting Angelique on the Hippogriff. This bronze, signed ‘BARYE’, was cast in the Atelier Barye/Brame foundry in circa 1875 and has a ‘feuille d’automne’ orangey-brown patina with green and black undertones.
A fine quality nineteenth century bronze model of a Tiger Attacking a Horse. This bronze, signed ‘BARYE’, was cast by the Brame foundry in Paris, circa 1876. It has a dark brown and black patina with red and green undertones.
Whilst not a classical subject, the theme of this work is similar to Barye’s other mythological pieces. Originally commissioned by the Duc de Montpensier around 1840, it is one of Barye’s most spectacular sculptures. His inspiration came from Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando Furioso, a series of chivalric romances centred around the pursuit of the beautiful but hapless Angelique. Few examples were cast during Barye’s lifetime, perhaps because the piece was unique in his oeuvre, but also because it was, at FF800, one of his most expensive works. The reproduction rights for this model were purchased at the Vente Barye of 1876 by Hector Brame, and as he employed in his foundry many of the artisans who had worked in Barye’s atelier (including Henri Coupens, credited with many of the outstanding patinas found on Barye bronzes), it is often hard to date these casts exactly. Whatever its exact date, this is a fine quality example of an outstanding model rarely seen on the market today. It is unique in Barye’s oeuvre both for its subject matter and (with the exception of his rare desk seal of Leda and the Swan) for its erotic undertones. Despite its size, it has a rare, jewel-like quality, which perhaps harks back to Barye’s days with the goldsmith Fauconnier, and is a tour de force of nineteenth century European sculpture.
Collections: Musée du Louvre, Paris. Walters Gallery, Baltimore. Provenance: Victor Franses Gallery, London, 2000. Private collection, New York. There is no record of the date when Barye modelled this dramatic and vividly detailed combat scene, although in all probability it was inspired by his Horse Attacked by a Lion, which he completed around 1850. Surprisingly, however, whilst a number of lifetime casts exist of the Horse and Lion, Barye never produced a bronze edition of the Horse and Tiger, and consequently no chef-modèle was made by him either. Thus, the first edition of this model was cast in bronze in 1876 following the purchase of the original plaster model at the Barye Atelier Sale earlier that year. Two bronze versions exist, one on a raised profile base as shown, and another without: casts of both are rare. Barye greatly admired the paintings of Delacroix and Stubbs and was obviously inspired by their lion and horse paintings, so full of movement and expression. In this sculpture, Barye has captured the romantic energy of their paintings with his vivid treatment of the horse’s rippling mane, its frenzied eye and gaping mouth.
3 JOSEPH BERNARD French, 1866–1931 The Water Carrier 1910 72 x 24 x 35 in; 184 x 61 x 89 cm A rare, fine quality and important early twentieth century life-size bronze model of a girl carrying a water pitcher, entitled Jeune fille à la cruche. This bronze was cast by the Claude Valsuani foundry, Paris, using the lost wax process. Prior to casting it was signed, stamped and numbered in the wax: ‘J. Bernard’, ‘C. Valsuani Cire Perdue’, ‘no. 1’. This cast has a rich dark brown patina with reddybrown highlights and black undertones. Provenance: Purchased in 1931 by Jacques Rodier through Ruhlmann & Co. from the widow of the sculptor. Thence by descent until the early 1970s. Private collection, Paris. Private collection, Australia. Jeune fille à la cruche (Girl with a Pail), sometimes also referred to as Porteuse d’eau (The Water Carrier), is a work of great significance in early twentieth century sculpture. Acclaimed at the time as Joseph Bernard’s masterpiece, it stands as one of the key works in the move away from Rodin’s tortured, Romantic sculpture towards more simplified, classical forms. Bernard’s works are rare and his life-size works are rarer still. It is an icon of twentieth century French art. The first bronze cast of Jeune fille à la cruche was made by Hébrard by 1914. Soon after it was sold to the French state, and has been on permanent display at the Musée d’Orsay since the museum opened in 1986. This cast, which was finished by Bernard himself, is the only other lifetime cast and must rank as one of the most important early twentieth century sculptures to have been offered for sale in recent years. The rest of the edition was cast posthumously, with most examples now in public collections around the world. The first documentary evidence for the work is January 1912, when the critic Louis Vauxcelles (who had coined the terms Fauvism and Cubism), mentioned it in an article about a visit to Bernard’s studio. The plaster cast was first exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris in October 1912, where it was bought by the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon. The American artists Walter Kuhn and Arthur B. Davies, who in November 1912 were in Paris, selecting work for the New York Armory Show, must have seen Bernard’s sculpture there, and reserved it for their exhibition. It was lent by the museum in Lyon. The exhibition opened to great controversy and acclaim in February 1913. Bernard’s Jeune fille à la cruche (plaster) was shown near Mlle Pogany and The Kiss by Brancusi, and sculptures by Maillol and Lehmbruck. It features in
the centre of the most celebrated photograph of the main room of the exhibition. Bernard’s neatly stylised figures are generally caught in movement – walking, dancing, singing – and have a nimble grace and charm that is lacking in the more dramatic work of Bourdelle and Maillol. Auguste Rodin died in 1917, and critics were quick to claim Bernard, Maillol and Bourdelle as his greatest successors, and indeed as greater sculptors. For André Salmon, a close friend of Picasso, Bernard was a much more important figure than Rodin. Stanislas Fumet, one of Bernard’s most ardent supporters, singled out Jeune fille à la cruche as his most important work, stating that it ‘changed the face of modern sculpture’. Magazines dedicated to the decorative arts invariably featured photographs of interiors in which Bernard sculptures were placed to complement Art Deco furniture: clearly his work was very much part of a modern look that wealthy, style-conscious collectors and interior designers aspired to. Numerous stands and interiors in the hugely influential 1925 Exhibition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris featured his sculptures. Bernard was a shy, obstinate man, ill at ease with the cosmopolitan art world. Although he was one of the most talked about sculptors of the 1920s, after his death in 1931 his work fell into obscurity. It was only in the 1970s, with the revival of interest in the Art Deco style, and after 1986, when the Musée d’Orsay opened, that interest in Bernard was re-ignited. His Jeune fille à la cruche is now one of the first sculptures the visitor sees upon entering the early twentieth century section at the Musée d’Orsay.
4 FERNANDO BOTERO Colombian, born 1932
5 REMBRANDT BUGATTI Italian, 1884–1916
Sitting Woman 1976 41 x 23 x 28 in; 104 x 59 x 71 cm
Horse and Donkey 1902 9 x 19 x 7 in; 23 x 49 x 17 cm
A rare, fine quality late twentieth century bronze model of a Sitting Woman. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Tesconi foundry in Pietrasanta, Italy, circa 1976. Before casting it was signed, numbered and stamped in the wax: ‘F. Botero’, ‘2/6’, ‘Fonderia Tesconi Pietrasanta’. It has a dark brown patina.
A unique, fine quality early twentieth century bronze model of a Horse and Donkey. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Giudici e Strada foundry in Milan for Alberto Grubicy. Prior to casting in bronze, it was signed and dated in the wax: ‘R. Bugatti 1902’. It is a unique piece and has a dark brown patina with black undertones.
Provenance: Purchased in 1978, probably from the Claude Bernard Gallery, Paris. Private collection, Paris. Thence by descent. Born in Medellín, Colombia, Botero worked in Barcelona, Madrid, Florence and New York before settling in Paris in 1973. By this date his signature painting style was world famous: it was a combination of big, seemingly inflated figures and animals with tiny heads, matched with Old Master technique and compositional structure. In 1973, Botero began creating sculptures that again focused on rotund subjects. He devoted the years 1976–77 exclusively to making sculptures, which became the dominant theme of his exhibitions in 1977 and 1978. The size of these sculptures subsequently increased to the monumental proportions first shown in 1985, and later seen at a series of open-air displays in major cities throughout the world in the 1990s. By this time he had probably become better known as a sculptor than as a painter. Sitting Woman was among the first group of sculptures made by Botero, and in many ways it remains the prototype for much of his later sculpture of the female nude, including those executed on the very largest scale.
Exhibitions: 5th Venice Biennale 1905, no. 497. Rome, 1921. Provenance: Private collection, Bergamo, Italy. Like the recent appearance of Bugatti’s marble Nubian Lion, the present work represents a significant new discovery in his oeuvre: a previously unknown model from the very beginning of his career. The piece is a highly affecting depiction of working animals, close in spirit to the first models of grazing cows that marked Bugatti’s debut as a sculptor. Along with them, this work must have been one of the first to convince the young Rembrandt’s family and friends of his prodigious talent. We know the youthful Bugatti would go sketching in the countryside around Milan, under the influence of his then mentor Giovanni Segantini, the ‘Alpine Impressionist’. Cast prior to Bugatti’s move to Paris and his contract with the Hébrard foundry, this piece may have been put into bronze with the help of Albino Palazzolo, a friend and craftsman who also subsequently came to Paris and, on Bugatti’s recommendation, joined the Hébrard firm.
6 REMBRANDT BUGATTI Italian, 1884–1916 Mes Antilopes 1908 35 x 83 x 24 in; 90 x 210 x 60 cm A unique, fine quality early twentieth century life-size bronze model of two antelopes, entitled Mes Antilopes. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Hébrard foundry in Paris. Before casting it was signed ‘R. Bugatti’, stamped ‘A. A. Hébrard Cire Perdue’ and inscribed ‘Pièce Unique’, ‘1908’ in the wax. It is a unique piece and has a rich dark brown patina with reddy-brown undertones. Exhibitions: Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1909. Galerie Adrien-A. Hébrard, Paris, 1911. Bugatti, Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, 1999. Collections: Museum of Modern Art, Strasbourg, the plaster; donation of L’Ebe Bugatti in 1975. Provenance: M. Prudhomme, 1923. Sladmore Gallery, 2000. Private collection, USA. Bugatti’s Mes Antilopes is in some ways the central work of his oeuvre. It is a life-size work (itself very rare for the artist), depicting two animals to which he was especially attached, and just a single bronze was cast from the model. Bugatti frequently worked from animals at Antwerp Zoo, and this pair of Senegalese bushbuck was sent from there direct to his Paris studio for him to look after while he created the piece. Presumably such a large model would have been impossible to send safely from Antwerp to Paris in clay or plastilene for moulding at the Hébrard foundry, where almost all Bugatti’s bronzes were cast. Thus we can gauge how important it was to the artist to work both from life and from specific animals (similar ones at the Paris Zoological Gardens would clearly not do). Correspondence exists between Bugatti and the director of Antwerp Zoo, pertaining to the transport and care of the animals, and the project testifies to the great trust which the institution had in the artist. In the letters, Bugatti confesses his profound attachment to the two antelopes (this at a time when he was becoming increasingly reclusive and also estranged from his family and friends). The work depicts, notably, affection between the animals, which had endured a long journey confined in a crate and were
reportedly unsettled for a while after arrival in Paris. As often in the artist’s work, there seems an empathy with the state of vulnerability in the creatures. Bugatti was devastated when, after the return of the animals to Antwerp, the female died. As if in deference to this loss, the casting of the work was restricted to a single ‘commemorative’ bronze inscribed ‘pièce unique’ – a remarkable decision after the efforts and expense of the enterprise, and the great success that both Bugatti and Hébrard recognised the piece had achieved. Under the terms of their contract, all decisions concerning the size of editions were Hébrard’s. It is interesting that frequently the works considered Bugatti’s finest exist in very small editions or even single casts, often inscribed ‘pièce unique’. Hébrard was clearly not in the habit of overexploiting his reproduction rights. The Mes Antilopes project indeed underlines the sometimes unrealistic, quixotic extremes as an artist that would see Bugatti slip into debt and alienate friends and family. In Mes Antilopes, we see most clearly that, for all the business arrangements made by him with the Hébrard gallery and foundry, the motivation for his work was always deeply personal.
7 REMBRANDT BUGATTI Italian, 1884–1916 Family of Yaks 1910 14 x 34 x 13 in; 36 x 86 x 33 cm A unique, fine quality early twentieth century bronze model of a Family of Yaks. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Hébrard foundry in Paris. Before casting it was signed, inscribed, dated and stamped in the wax: ‘R. Bugatti’, ‘Pièce Unique’, ‘1910’, ‘A. A. Hébrard Cire Perdue’. It is a unique piece and has a medium brown patina with dark brown undertones. Exhibitions: Royal Zoological Society, Antwerp, 1910 (plaster). Salon d’Automne, Paris, 1912. Royal Zoological Society, Antwerp, 1955. Provanance: Ettore Bugatti, purchased 1912. Roland Bugatti, 1947, estate sale 1979. Private collection, Switzerland. Returning to animals as his primary subjects around 1908, after a bout of intense work on the human figure, Bugatti extended his style, moving away from vivacious impressionism and towards various more artificial modes such as faceting and texturing the surfaces. His depictions of animals suggest increasing emotional depth as he strove to reflect an insight into their captive state. This movingly depicted family group illustrates Bugatti’s depth of psychological, almost spiritual concern for his subjects, and creates a vision of the richness and value of animal life. A photograph records the artist at Antwerp Zoo in 1910, modelling the piece before the enclosure while his model seems to hold a pose for the artist. The year after this unique piece was created, and at the age of only 27, the artist received the Légion d’honneur award for his services to French art. Going regularly to the zoo at the Jardin des Plantes or in Antwerp, Bugatti always modelled directly in front of the animals.
At the age of nineteen, he came into contact with the bronze founder Adrien Hébrard, and held his first exhibition at the Galerie Hébrard in 1904. Signing a contract of exclusivity that year, he would show annually at Hébrard’s gallery until 1913. Where Troubetzkoy’s modelling appeared quick and slick, every mark counted in Bugatti’s brilliantly sculpted works. Using plastilene, he pinched, nipped and pressed the material with immense skill. His fingerprints cover the works. Rather than try to depict fur or feathers with scratched markings, he instead, like Rodin, conjured up a heavily fingered, painterly surface, upon which the light plays to give a sense of life and movement. By the age of thirty, Bugatti had already built up a large and varied oeuvre of some 300 sculptures. His work gradually lost its impressionist character and became more heavily structured, built up of parallel ribbons of clay, as in the present group, which act like Cézanne’s hatched brushwork. He seemed the natural successor to Barye. But he was by all accounts a difficult and lonely character. Deeply affected by the war, and unable to stay in Antwerp, where he had previously spent extended periods, he committed suicide by gassing himself in his Montparnasse studio in January 1916.
8 REMBRANDT BUGATTI Italian, 1884–1916 Two Flamingos 1912 15 x 19 x 5 in; 38 x 49 x 13 cm A unique, fine quality early twentieth century bronze model of Two Flamingos. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Hébrard foundry in Paris, circa 1912. Before casting it was signed, inscribed and stamped in the wax: ‘Rembrandt Bugatti’, ‘Pièce Unique’, ‘A. A. Hébrard Cire Perdue’. It is a unique piece and has a dark brown patina with lighter brown undertones. Provenance: M. Nocard, 1914. Bugatti came from a celebrated family: his father was Carlo Bugatti, the remarkable furniture designer, his uncle was the painter Giovani Segantini, and his brother Ettore created the famous motorcars. Rembrandt Bugatti made his first sculptures in the early 1900s, drawing his subjects mainly from the domestic animals he saw around his home. He was still only a teenager, but they were already accomplished works. The family moved in 1903 from Milan to Paris, where he was then able to model the wide range of exotic animals to be found at the Jardin des Plantes. In 1904 the bronze founder Adrien Hébrard opened a gallery in the rue Royale, inaugurating it with a show of his new discovery, the nineteen-year-old prodigy Rembrandt Bugatti. Hébrard thereafter cast most of Bugatti’s works in editions, but this bronze cast is unique – it emerged only recently, and does not feature in the catalogue raisonné published in 1987, but it does appear in the new catalogue raisonné, published in 2009, and also in Rembrandt Bugatti, Life in sculpture by Edward Horswell. Hébrard also produced a unique example of each of these birds, cast in solid silver, and a small edition of the single bird with head up in bronze.
9 REMBRANDT BUGATTI Italian, 1884–1916 Tiger Toying with a Snake 1915 15 x 23 x 7 in; 37 x 59 x 19 cm A unique, fine quality early twentieth century bronze sculpture of a Tiger Toying with a Snake. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Claude Valsuani foundry in Paris, circa 1916. Before casting it was inscribed in the wax with a dedication by the artist’s brother, ‘Dernière oeuvre de mon frère, Ettore Bugatti, Paris 8 janvier 1916’, and also stamped in the wax by the foundry ‘C. Valsuani Cire Perdue’. It is a unique piece and has a reddybrown patina with green undertones. Exhibitions: Bugatti Retrospective, Royal Zoological Society, Antwerp, 1955. The Amazing Bugattis, Royal College of Art, 1979. Rembrandt Bugatti, Sladmore Gallery, 1988. Provenance: Collection Ettore Bugatti, 1916. Collection Roland Bugatti, 1947, estate sale 1979. Private collection, England. Whereas Bugatti’s early work betrays the fingered, impressionist modelling of Rodin and Troubetzkoy, his later work was entirely different: he gives his animals an architectonic structure by scraping the surface, as a draughtsman uses cross-hatching; or by modelling with flattened strips of clay which seem to describe the
muscular form beneath the surface. Both techniques were unique to Bugatti, and he used them to capture the essence of the animals he was modelling: his animalier sculptures are effectively portraits of individual animals, and zookeepers were even able to identify the individual animals he had modelled. Both techniques are employed to brilliant effect in Tiger Toying with a Snake, Bugatti’s last work. The linear structure suggests force, movement and weight, in much the same way that his contemporaries, the Italian Futurists, used linear patterns to imply speed and modernity. Bugatti sent the model of Tiger Toying with a Snake to Claude Valsuani’s bronze foundry in Paris, but committed suicide in January 1916, before it had been cast. He was just 31 years old. His brother Ettore ensured that it was cast, in a single example, in 1916. It is inscribed by Ettore: ‘Dernière oeuvre de mon frère, Ettore Bugatti, Paris 8 janvier 1916’ (‘Last work by my brother, Ettore Bugatti, Paris 8 January 1916’). Not only is this a unique cast, but it is also a unique subject in Bugatti’s oeuvre, as nowhere else did he treat the subject of combat between animals. It remained in the collection of Ettore, passing on his death in 1947 to his son Roland. It was purchased along with several other works at the Bugatti Estate sale in 1979 and has remained in an English private collection ever since.
10 ALBERIC COLLIN Belgian, 1886–1962 Long-Eared Owl circa 1925 10 x 7 x 4 in; 25 x 18 x 10 cm A fine quality, early twentieth century bronze model of a LongEared Owl by Albéric Collin. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Claude Valsuani foundry in Paris, circa 1925. Before casting it was signed and stamped in the wax: ‘Alberic Collin’, ‘C. Valsuani Cire Perdue’. It has a dark brown patina with lighter reddy-brown undertones and parcel gilding to the eyes. Albéric Collin was for many years overshadowed by Rembrandt Bugatti and François Pompon, but is now beginning to gain his rightful place as one of the greatest animalier sculptors of the twentieth century. Born in Antwerp in 1886, he remained in the city for the rest of his long and seemingly uneventful life. The great zoo at Antwerp, which appealed so much to Bugatti that he spent long periods in the city, proved equally attractive to Collin, who was just two years younger than the Italian sculptor. They knew each other well, and Collin acknowledged Bugatti’s influence: ‘He gave me advice, he continually helped and encouraged me to improve my art.’
Published information on Collin is surprisingly scarce. He staged a solo exhibition at Antwerp Zoo in 1910, and exhibited individual pieces regularly in Brussels and Paris. He was independently wealthy and felt no need for a dealer: his works seem to have been issued in small editions, seven casts of any model being the maximum. Collectors are now beginning to recognise the power, imagination and technical brilliance of Collin’s work, and to appreciate that his work rarely surfaces on the market. This striking Long-Eared Owl is a previously unrecorded work and may be a unique cast. The eyes have been highlighted with a fine line of gilding, so that they appear to glow: a stylish and unusual addition. The Sladmore Gallery has played a major role in bringing Collin back to the place he merits: in 1999 we mounted the first solo exhibition of his work in more than fifty years, and will soon publish a monograph on him.
11 EDGAR DEGAS French, 1834–1917 Drinking Horse circa 1865 6 x 8 x 6 in; 16 x 21 x 14 cm A fine quality early twentieth century bronze model of a Drinking Horse, entitled Cheval à l’abreuvoir. This sculpture was cast in bronze by the lost wax process at the Hébrard foundry in Paris, circa 1920. Before casting it was signed, stamped and numbered in the wax: ‘Degas’, ‘A. A. Hébrard Cire Perdue’, ‘13/C’. It has a dark brown patina with black undertones. Collections: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, USA. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Provenance: The Lefevre Gallery, 1954. Bud C. Holland, Chicago. William Wood Prince, Chicago. This is one of the most sensitive of Degas’s remarkable horse studies. The gradual downhill slope of the base gives a subtle dynamic to the sculpture. It is one of the first horses sculpted by Degas and it has close associations with the painting Mademoiselle Fiocre dans le Ballet de la Source, exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1868 and now in Brooklyn Museum (Lemoisne, no. 146). Certainly Degas sketched this pose a number of times during the early 1860s, but it seems unlikely that this highly finished sculpture was merely a working model. Conceived between 1865 and 1868, it was cast between 1919 and 1923 in an edition of 22, twenty numbered from A to T, and the other two reserved for the Degas heirs and inscribed ‘Her’ and ‘Her-D’.
12 HERBERT HASELTINE American, 1877–1962
13 HERBERT HASELTINE American, 1877–1962
Pair of Portuguese Bullfighters 1921 11 x 11 x 4 in; 27 x 28 x 10 cm
Suffolk Punch Stallion circa 1921 13 x 12 x 6 in; 33 x 31 x 14 cm
A fine quality pair of early twentieth century bronze models of Portuguese bullfighters. These bronzes were cast by the lost wax process at the Claude Valsuani foundry in Paris, circa 1921. Before casting they were both signed, dated and stamped in the wax: ‘© Herbert Haseltine’, ‘1921’ and ‘C. Valsuani Cire Perdue’. They have burnished reddy-gold and brown patinas and are mounted on their original antique red marble bases.
A fine quality early twentieth century bronze model of a horse, entitled Suffolk Punch Stallion. This bronze, inscribed ‘Haseltine’ on the Belgian black marble base, was probably cast at the Claude Valsuani foundry in Paris, circa 1925. It has a unique mottled green and chestnut brown patina with gilding to the mane and tail, and silver rosettes on the forelock and tail.
Provenance: Baron Robert de Rothschild, Paris. Haseltine was an accomplished rider and polo player, and his equestrian sculpture is among his very finest work. These stylish models are examples of the sculptor’s early impressionistic style, perfected through years of realist and naturalistic studies. They depict rejoneadores, and are titled Portuguese Bullfighters I & II, the models originating from the sculptor’s visit to Spain and Portugal in 1920. The riders are wearing the traditional costume of eighteenth century Portuguese bull fighting, a custom still carried out today. Their mounts are Lusitano horses, a specialist breed from the Iberian Peninsula, traditionally used for ‘ceremonial’ fights and still favoured in Portugal today. Haseltine worked from studios in both London and Paris. Although not unique, to date we know of only one other pair of these models.
Collections: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Virginia Museum, USA. Around 1920, Marshall Field, founder of the Field Museum in Chicago, commissioned Haseltine to sculpt a series of championship British domestic animals. These were to sit alongside the Malvina Hoffman ‘Races of the World’ set of sculptures already in his collection. Over the next few years Haseltine completed a series of approximately twenty models based on the individual class winners at the annual Smithfield Agricultural Show. From this series of horses, cattle, sheep and pigs, the Suffolk Punch Stallion has come to best represent the group, its animated gait in contrast to many of the others, which are depicted simply standing. Haseltine edited each model in three sizes. The large versions, each approximately one quarter life size, were limited to one and two examples. The medium versions were one eighth life size and were produced on demand, although research to date suggests that fewer than ten were cast of each. A small version, one sixteenth life size, was produced and sold as a complete set. The present example is from the medium size edition and is the finest example we have seen of this model. Previous examples have had more traditional patinas and less or no gilding. This is also the first cast from the medium series that we have seen with the applied silver rosettes. Its Haseltine family provenance suggests that this was a special commission, perhaps done for Herbert himself or for a close relative.
14 ARISTIDE MAILLOL French, 1861–1944 Study for La Méditerranée 1902–05 9 x 7 x 5 in; 22 x 18 x 14 cm A rare, fine quality early twentieth century original plaster working model of a seated nude, created as a study for La Méditerranée. This plaster is inscribed by the artist with his monogram ‘M’ and was modelled between 1902 and 1905. Provenance: Roger Fry (probably a gift from the artist). Helen Anrep, gift from the above, thence by descent. This early work relates to Maillol’s masterpiece La Méditerranée. An important rediscovery, it belonged to Roger Fry (1866–1934), the key figure in the promotion of avant-garde art in Britain in the early twentieth century. Fry wrote the first article in English on Maillol, ‘The Sculptures of Maillol’ (published in The Burlington Magazine, April 1910), and included Maillol’s work in his landmark exhibition Manet and the Post-Impressionists, which was held at the Grafton Galleries in London in 1910. Maillol’s great achievement was to rid sculpture of descriptive detail and narrative storylines and to concentrate instead on purely sculptural qualities: this is why he is so often called the founding father of modern sculpture, and why he was so admired by fellow artists such as Matisse, Picasso and Arp. Nu assis is one of Maillol’s earliest works of this type, and it clearly relates to La Méditerranée, the large seated figure which caused such a stir when it was exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in 1905: ‘It is beautiful: it means nothing,’ André Gide famously said of it. In this small but powerful study, we see Maillol’s predilection for modelling the human figure according to basic geometrical forms. Maillol stated that ‘I always begin with a geometric shape such as a square, lozenge, or triangle, because these are the shapes which hold their own best in space.’ Study for La Méditerranée is clearly formulated to fit within an imaginary cube. Original plaster working models by Maillol are exceptionally rare: most remained with the artist and now form part of the Maillol Museum in Paris.
15 ARISTIDE MAILLOL French, 1861–1944 Standing Nude, Harmony 1940–44 60 x 15 x 14 in; 152 x 38 x 36 cm A fine quality mid twentieth century lifesize bronze model of a standing nude girl entitled Standing Nude, Harmony. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Claude Valsuani foundry in Paris, circa 1950. Before casting it was signed in the wax with the artists monogram: ‘M’, numbered ‘3/6’ and stamped ‘C. Valsuani Cire Perdue’. It has a dark brown patina with medium brown and green undertones. Collections: Maillol Museum, Paris. Provenance: Private collection, USA. Maillol worked on the figure Harmony from May 1940 until his death in 1944, and a plaster cast of the sculpture was first exhibited at the Salon d’Automne of 1946. The American art historian John Rewald visited Maillol in March 1941 at Banyuls at the time that he was making Harmony. He records that Maillol ‘had been labouring for several months on a figure of a young girl. As I entered and remained speechless before a life-size plaster without arms, there was in Maillol’s eyes a flicker of triumphant joy. [….] Maillol now slowly turned the figure on its revolving socle so that I could admire it from all angles. Thus moving around her own axis, his creation seemed to come to life. “I should like,” he added, “for this work to be more realistic, more alive than anything I have done until now. It is for that reason that I work this time with a model and not only from drawings, as I did previously.” ’ The model for this piece was Dina Vierny. Born around 1919, she met Maillol in 1934, when she was 15 years old and he was 73. The architect Jean-Claude Dondel had visited Dina’s father in Paris in 1934, where he met Dina. He later recommended Maillol take her as a model, seeing her full figure as perfectly suited to his art. She soon began posing for him, for works such as The Mountain. In order to escape the war, she moved to Banyuls in February 1940, initially staying with Maillol and his wife and later taking rooms in the town. At the time of Rewald’s visit, Dina posed for Maillol every afternoon. He recounts that she arrived; ‘a young, black-haired girl, rather small, with bare arms and legs, a crown of braids wound around her head, her face large and radiant… Maillol modelled several versions, endlessly re-working each one of his studies, adding an extra layer of thickness in one place, then removing it, polishing and re-polishing, indefatigable in his pursuit for perfection.’
Maillol is recorded as saying: ‘I make the figure bigger. And the more I enlarge it, the thinner the figure becomes. I add all the time, I add everywhere. I want to remove this thinness, make it stronger. You cannot make a figure sufficiently strong, especially if it is to go outdoors. You see, I add all the time and she remains thin. You see, you cannot keep too close to reality. The particular detail is of no interest. If I copy Dina in this statue, it will simply be Dina, and that’s no good at all. It would be facile, I could simply take measurements. What interests me, what I am searching for, is the general. That is to say, my statue represents an idea.’ Frère returned to Maillol’s studio a few weeks later, and Maillol assured him that ‘every part had changed a thousand times. I have worked like crazy on it this last week. Those parts have been reworked a hundred times.’ Rewald observed that Maillol had immense difficulties making the work, and that the figure collapsed four times while he was making it. This was partly because he had little concern for the construction of the armature beneath; he worked directly in plaster, applying it wet, with a small trowel. Due to wartime privations, he could not use his usual fine sculptor’s plaster and had to make do with ordinary mason’s plaster.
16 JEAN-LOUIS ERNEST MEISSONIER French, 1815–91 Horseman in the Wind circa 1878 19 x 23 x 9 in; 48 x 58 x 23 cm A fine quality nineteenth century bronze model of Marshal Ney on Horseback, also entitled Horseman in the Wind and The Voyager. This bronze, signed by the artist ‘Meissonier’, numbered ‘26’, and stamped by the Siot Decauville foundry, Paris, was cast by the lost wax process circa 1895 and has a dark brown patina with black undertones. Collections: Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Musée de L’Armée, Paris. National Gallery, Washington, DC. Provenance: Sladmore Gallery, 2002. English private collection. Meissonier is an important artist of the nineteenth century, who enjoyed spectacular international acclaim through his lifetime. His Marshal Ney is a key work of the period, perhaps the most resonant equestrian sculpture of the century after Barye’s Turkish Horse. Meissonier was on the one hand an established salon figure and recipient of state patronage, but on the other a friend and example to younger, progressive artists such as Redon, Van Gogh, Sisley and Renoir. Technically he exhibited in his paintings an illusionistic brilliance that can be almost photorealistic, but in his sculptures, as here, he achieves a more expressive, almost protoexpressionist vigour. The present work, with its dramatically flowing cloak, anticipates modernist works such as Barlach’s The Avenger. This work has importance, too, for the development of modern sculpture, in that Meissonier’s use of wax and cloth in the original model (now at the Musée d’Orsay) anticipates and perhaps influenced Degas’s similar techniques, notably in his Little Dancer of 1880–81, a few years later than the Meissonier. Degas’s horse models were first undertaken as preparation for paintings, as was this one by Meissonier. The piece was first shown in 1893, soon after the death of the artist. It had been cast by the Siot Décauville foundry in an edition on behalf of Meissonier’s family. Though first entitled The Voyager or Officer of the Empire in a Storm, the work was quickly associated with the Napoleonic campaigns, and in particular with Marshal Ney, perhaps the most legendary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s generals. Ney had been a self-taught military strategist and a passionate yet stoical soldier. He had fought tirelessly for France, and was unjustly
executed after the battle of Waterloo. The work is also sometimes called The Retreat from Russia (Ney had been the very last French soldier to cross the border in defeat), and was modelled as an aid to the artist in making the painting Freidland 1807 (in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), depicting Ney’s great victory over the Russian army after enduring a devastating snowstorm. It is however a more universal commemoration of the man, evoking both Ney’s determined steady progress (he twice refused promotion in his career until he felt ready to justify it) and his sad retreat at Waterloo, when after rallying his troops tirelessly he finally ‘trudged slowly back in the darkness towards Genappe’ (A. G. Macdonell, Napoleon and His Generals, 1934). The paradoxical spirit of victory within defeat – the cowardly execution of the Marshal was to many a martyrdom – is brilliantly suggested in the simultaneous upward and downward thrusts of the composition.
17 FRANCOIS POMPON French, 1855–1933 Condor 1918 8 x 6 x 3 in; 20 x 15 x 8 cm A fine quality early twentieth century bronze model of a condor. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Hébrard foundry, Paris, in 1922. Prior to casting it was signed, stamped and numbered in the wax: ‘Pompon’, ‘A. A. Hebrard Cire Perdue’, ‘1’. This bronze has a dark brown to black patina with warm reddybrown highlights, and was cast in 1922. Provenance: French private collection. In the 1920s, François Pompon was recognised as the greatest animalier sculptor alive, and by some as the greatest since Barye. His great achievement was to take animalier sculpture away from the nineteenth century obsession with detailed surface treatment and narrative subjects, and concentrate instead on purely sculptural qualities. His reputation suffered after the Second World War, but in the last twenty years he has re-emerged as a key figure in twentieth century sculpture, and the greatest animalier sculptor of his day. This majestic Condor dates from 1918, when Pompon was just beginning to attract widespread attention (he had his first solo exhibition the following year). While Pompon’s pre-war work focused on domesticated birds and animals, after the First World War he was a regular visitor to the zoo at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, where he began to focus on more exotic beasts and birds. This model was created in 1918, and cast in bronze by the lost wax method at the Hébrard foundry in 1922. It is marked ‘no. 1’. Remarkably, thanks to Pompon’s precise record-keeping, we know that this very bronze was cast on 5 April 1922, and was sold the following year to a Japanese collector. The catalogue raisonné by Chevillot, Collas and Pingeot lists it as ‘missing’ (cat. 46a, p. 192). There are two other casts, both missing. There is a second version, dating from 1923, in which the bird stands on a small mound: these later casts were made by the Claude Valsuani foundry.
18 FRANCOIS POMPON French, 1855–1933 Crowned Crane 1926 11 x 4 x 4 in; 28 x 11 x 11 cm A fine quality, rare early twentieth century bronze model of a standing crane. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Claude Valsuani foundry in Paris, circa 1926. Before casting it was signed, inscribed and stamped in the wax: ‘POMPON’, ‘MODELE’, ‘C. Valsuani Cire Perdue’. It has a subtle, multicoloured patina, black on the surface with reddy-brown undertones. Although Pompon became celebrated as an animalier sculptor of extraordinary breadth, modelling a menagerie that included polar bears, hippopotami, monkeys and deer, he first came to attention for his birds. He started on this path in the early 1900s in Normandy. He fashioned a portable workbench, incorporating slots for clay and tools, which he could sling around his shoulder, enabling him to follow and model animals and birds in the countryside. His animals are almost always alone, rather than in pairs or groups, and they are portrayed standing but alert, or moving slowly forward. By 1910 he had developed a revolutionary style, eliminating details to leave a streamlined design. Pompon described his approach as follows: ‘You have to look at the animal from a distance. Close to, you see all the unimportant detail. From a distance the subject takes on its real significance. The formal relationships become apparent. But you must still simplify, make sacrifices, and deform in order to gain expression.’ Back in the studio, he would finish modelling the animal or bird in clay before casting it in plaster and then rubbing down all the superfluous details with files and abrasive papers. As has often been remarked, there is a direct parallel with the work of Brancusi, although there is no evidence that the two artists knew each other. In 1926 Pompon made two sculptures of a Crowned Crane. In the first, the bird is resting and has one foot poised in the air; in the other the bird is walking. There are two slightly different variants of the walking bird, one with a fluted crown or crest, the other smooth (cats. 102A and 102B). This cast is the second, ‘smooth’ version, on which the crest is also slightly lowered. Works inscribed ‘MODELE’ in Pompon’s oeuvre are extremely rare, and this lifetime cast may well be unique, as this model was not edited by the sculptor in his lifetime. A posthumous edition of twelve was however cast by the Valsuani foundry in Paris, although the surface of its base is smooth, unlike the modelled version in this rare lifetime example.
19 FRANCOIS POMPON French, 1855–1933 Polar Bear Head 1930 14 x 16 x 18 in; 36 x 40 x 45 cm A contemporary bronze model of a life-size Polar Bear Head cast from the original plaster model. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Emile Godard foundry in Paris in 2006. Before casting it was signed, numbered and inscribed in the wax: ‘F. Pompon’, ‘4/8’, ‘E. Godard Fondeur 2006’. It has a dark brown patina with lighter brown highlights. Collections: Musée Pompon, Saulieu, France. Pompon’s career stretches back to the 1870s, when he worked as a marble carver for Rodin, amongst others. He had a difficult career: for financial reasons he worked for others and was rarely able to devote sufficient time to his own work, although he regularly exhibited small works at the salons. The Polar Bear is undoubtedly Pompon’s most famous work, and it is one of the great works of twentieth century animalier art. The first study for the Polar Bear, a plaster in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon, is just 15 cm tall and shows a comparatively slim animal with a long neck stretched upwards. It dates from about 1920. In 1922 Pompon exhibited the large-scale work, the 2.5 metre-long enlarged version of the Polar Bear, at the Salon d’Automne, held at the Grand Palais. Unusually for a work of such size, it was not a commission, and the costs of making and casting it were borne entirely by the artist. In May 1922, Robert Rey’s article on Pompon had been published in the review Art et Décoration. The article featured illustrations of Pompon’s smaller birds. According to one source, the founder and president of the Salon d’Automne, Frantz Jourdain, was so impressed when he read it that he invited Pompon to show the Polar Bear at the salon in November. Whether Jourdain visited the studio and encouraged Pompon to enlarge the smaller model is not recorded, but given that Rey did not mention the huge Polar Bear, which would have dominated Pompon’s tiny Montparnasse studio, this is plausible. If we accept this version, however, Pompon must have made it in just a few months, between May and October. The plaster sculpture was given a prominent place at the salon, where it was a huge success. A banquet in Pompon’s honour, held in the Salon d’Automne itself and attended by 300 guests, crowned the achievement. A stone version was commissioned by the state for the Musée du Luxembourg, the national museum of modern art; it was finished by 1927 and entered the collection in 1929. It subsequently passed into the Musée d’Orsay collection, where it is now on show alongside works by Maillol, Bourdelle and Rodin.
The Polar Bear immediately became Pompon’s ‘signature piece’, popularised by the smaller bronze and marble versions, and by the Sèvres biscuitware version, which was issued in several hundred examples. The Polar Bear was an internationally celebrated work, and Pompon had just one bronze cast made of the head from the lifesize version, which he had fixed to the front door of his studio on the rue Campagne-Première in Montparnasse (catalogue raisonné, no. 122F). It was cast by the Valsuani foundry in 1930, and this was the only occasion when Pompon had a fragment of one of his four monumental works made (the others are a hippopotamus, a stag and a bull). The rue Campagne-Première was one of the most popular streets in all of Paris for artists’ studios. Sculptors who lived there included Edouard-Marcel Sandoz, Jean Dampt, Henri Bouchard, Jeanne Bardey and Jean Lambert-Rucki. Other residents at one time or another were Giorgio de Chirico, Man Ray and the photographer Eugène Atget. No. 9 on the street gave way to a courtyard and fifty artists’ studios on three levels: these were built from the remains of a pavilion originally constructed for the Exposition Universelle of 1889. Picasso put a deposit down on one of these studios when he came to Paris in 1900, but he eventually settled for another address. It can be seen, then, that this street was a Mecca for artists, and that Pompon was probably the most famous resident. The Polar Bear’s head proclaimed his presence. Pompon had no family, and the contents of his studio were ceded to various French museums: this original bronze is now part of the Pompon Museum Collection at Saulieu, near Dijon. This contemporary edition by the E. Godard foundry in Paris is cast under the strictest controls. Each casting is accompanied by a certificate from Madame Liliane Colas, co-author of the Musée d’Orsay Pompon exhibition catalogue, and author of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné in which this edition will be fully documented. The edition consists of eight casts numbered 1/8, 2/8, etc., and three artist’s casts numbered II / IV, III / IV and IV / IV. The cast originally placed by the sculptor on the door of his studio and now in the Pompon Museum is designated as cast number I / IV.
20 AUGUSTE RODIN French, 1840–1917 Jean d’Aire 1887 18 x 5 x 6 in; 47 x 12 x 15 cm A rare, fine quality early twentieth century bronze model of Jean d’Aire. This sculpture was cast in bronze by the sand process, probably at the François Rudier foundry, circa 1900. Before casting it was signed at the rear of the base ‘A. Rodin’, and it has a dark brown and black patina with green nuances. Exhibitions: Rodin Exhibition, Paris, 1900. Rodin en Buenos Aires, Fundacion Antorchas, October 2001 (illus. p. 44). Provenance: European private collection. In 1884 the City of Calais decided to commemorate their greatest hero, Eustace de St Pierre. When Calais was besieged by the English in 1346–47, the English king, Edward III, said that he would spare the inhabitants if six hostages came out to his camp, carrying the keys to the city. Six burghers, led by Eustace de St Pierre, agreed to do just that. The others were Jacques de Wissant, Pierre de Wissant, Jean d’Aire, Andrieu d’Andres and Jean de Fiennes. Impressed by their courage, Edward spared them, and they entered into French legend. Rodin was asked to make the monument to Eustace de St Pierre in 1884, but he decided instead to commemorate all six burghers. He worked on the figures from 1885 to 1889, first modelling them nude, then with drapery. Due to financial problems, the work was only unveiled in 1895. There are numerous studies and variants of the Jean d’Aire figure, both clothed and unclothed. Once the definitive monument was made and unveiled, reduced bronze versions, standing approximately 45 cm tall, were made of five of the six figures. (For some reason it seems he did not make a reduced version of Jacques de Wissant.) It is clear, then, that this is not a study for the figure of Jean d’Aire, but more specifically a reduced version of the definitive figure, although still worked up after its reduction. The reductions were prepared by Henri Lebossé, Rodin’s trusted assistant, who did many of his enlargements and reductions. Bills in the archives of the Musée Rodin in Paris show that these
reductions were made by Lebossé between 1895 and 1903 (see Judrin, Laurent and Viéville, p. 222). Rodin obviously valued these small versions highly, as he included them in the retrospective exhibition he organised at the Place d’Alma in Paris in 1900. These early turn-of-the-century casts of the Burghers of Calais are extremely rare. We know from the archives in the Musée Rodin that several casts were made by the Perzinka foundry before 1901 and by François Rudier between 1901 and 1904. The model after this date was cast by Alexis Rudier, and subsequently by Georges Rudier, both of whom inscribed castings with their names, as did the Perzinka foundry. The absence of any foundry inscription on this vibrant early cast, together with its method of manufacture, confirms it to be a rare casting from the François Rudier foundry, made between 1901 and 1904.
21 AUGUSTE RODIN French, 1840–1917 Head of Pierre de Wissant 1900 10 x 8 x 8 in; 27 x 20 x 20 cm A rare, fine quality early twentieth century bronze model of the Head of Pierre de Wissant. This sculpture was cast in bronze by the lost wax process, probably at the Montagutelli foundry in Paris, circa 1912. Before casting it was signed in the wax, ‘A. Rodin’. This cast has a dark brown patina with lighter brown undertones. Provenance: Bernheim-Jeune Galerie, Paris, circa 1913. Private collection, Buenos Aires. This extraordinarily powerful physiognomy is a supreme example of the nineteenth century sculptural ‘tête d’expression’ – a bust, often anonymous, created to convey emotion, humanity, psychological and spiritual depth. Several of Rodin’s earlier heads, such as Man with a Broken Nose, and the heads of his monumental pieces including John the Baptist and of course The Thinker, had prepared him for the present work. It was conceived as part of his ‘Burghers of Calais’ project, an epic depiction of the six hostages who offered their lives to save their besieged city during the Hundred Years War. Several of the six figures in the monument gave rise to individual busts or full length studies, existing as separate works (arguably more spontaneous and condensed than the final group). Little visual record was available to the sculptor of the appearance of the Calais Elders, and he relied on the powerful written record of the great French chronicler Froissart. Rodin carefully chose models that he felt embodied the spirit of his protagonists – in this case the civic statesman Pierre de Wissant. He was following the practice of Renaissance sculptors when making statues of saints of whom no portrait existed, but whose character was strongly sensed. Indeed, the work of sculptors such as Donatello is echoed in the present work, as is that of the anonymous carvers of the French cathedrals that Rodin had studied in depth as a young man. At the same time there is a new spirit in this work that not only marks a pinnacle of Romanticism but also presages Modernism. This work looks forward to Picasso’s Tête de fou bronze, and to the intensity of Existentialist sculptors such as Richier or Giacometti.
An extremely rare bronze, of very high quality, this is a lifetime cast that perfectly captures the spontaneity and vigour of Rodin’s touch. The fall of light and shade over form was essential to the artist’s style, and in this work the dynamics of light and dark are spectacular, evoking a range of emotions from sorrow to heroism. It is said that, whilst acknowledging the superiority of the lost wax process, Rodin preferred the sand cast technique because it was cheaper. This early lost wax cast, one of only three known, is therefore rare in his oeuvre. It was probably cast by the Montagutelli foundry, who did not always inscribe their castings; they were contracted by Rodin to cast this model from April 1912 to September 1913.
22 EDOUARD-MARCEL SANDOZ Swiss, 1881–1971 Fennecs du Sahara 1926 15 x 24 x 18 in; 37 x 61 x 46 cm A unique, fine quality early twentieth century bronze model of a group of eight fennec foxes entitled Fennecs du Sahara. This sculpture was cast in bronze by the lost wax process at the Atillo Valsuani foundry in Paris, circa 1926. Before casting, it was signed and stamped in the wax: ‘Ed. M. Sandoz’, ‘A. Valsuani Cire Perdue’. It is a unique piece and has a rich reddy-brown and green patina. Exhibitions: Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1926. Galerie Edgar Brandt, Paris, Les Animaliers, 1927. Cercle Volney, Paris, 1935. Collections: Private collection, Paris. Born in Basel, Switzerland, Edouard-Marcel Sandoz was the son of a leading industrialist who ran a pharmaceuticals empire. From 1900 to 1903 he studied at the Ecole des Arts Industriels in Geneva, before moving in 1904 to Paris, where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Throughout his life he produced figurative sculptures, busts and monuments, but he is better known as one of the most original, experimental and prolific animalier sculptors of his time, treating a huge range of animal subjects, including dogs, frogs and exotic fish, and extending to more unusual animals and reptiles, including snakes, hedgehogs and kangaroos. He also painted and produced ceramics and furniture. He was hugely productive: the catalogue raisonné of the sculpture, established by Félix Marcilhac, includes over 1,600 works. He was also hugely inventive in both style and technique. Whereas animalier sculptors of the late nineteenth century had usually sought to render fur and feathers with infinite detail, Sandoz was one of a small group of artists who, from about 1910, began to simplify their work in a geometric manner, preferring a smooth surface and reduced descriptive detail. In this sense he stood alongside François Pompon and even Brancusi, who also made a number of animal sculptures. Equally remarkable was his use of coloured stones, such as quartz and crystals, for his carvings; and, fittingly for a man who had initially trained as a chemist, he produced exceptionally unusual multi-coloured patinas and gilded surfaces for his bronzes.
This important work dates from 1926 and is a unique cast, made by the lost wax process by the celebrated Valsuani foundry in Paris. It depicts eight fennec foxes. Fennecs are small nocturnal foxes found on the northern rim of the Sahara Desert. They have remarkably large ears, which enable them to hear prey moving underground. Sandoz made several other sculptures of fennecs, but only two others are of similarly imposing size (Marcilhac, 608 and 614). Sandoz must have been unusually pleased with this particular work, because he showed it at the prestigious Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1926, the year in which it was made. The present bronze is listed by Marcilhac as ‘whereabouts unknown’. Last exhibited at the Cercle Volney in Paris in 1935, it was previously only known from old archival photographs. Not only was Sandoz one of the most important twentieth century animalier sculptors, but he also proved crucial in providing support for other animalier artists. Thanks to his family wealth, he was able to buy the Galerie Brandt, which specialised in animalier art, in 1932, during the depths of the economic depression. It re-opened as the Galerie Malesherbes and dealt mainly in contemporary animalier sculpture. Sandoz became a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 1924, an Officer in 1934, and a Commander in 1949; he became a Member of the French Academy in 1947. From 1938 he was President of the Foundation Taylor, a charitable body for artists. His studio was at the Villa d’Alésia, in the 14th arrondissement in Paris. His family wealth enabled him to follow a career unhindered by financial considerations, and it also enabled him to keep many of the animals which were his subjects.
23 PRINCE PAUL TROUBETZKOY Russian, 1866–1938 Standing Girl with Ponytail circa 1894 19 x 6 x 6 in; 48 x 14 x 15 cm A rare, fine quality early twentieth century bronze sculpture of a standing girl holding her braided hair. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process, probably at the Giudici e Strada foundry in Milan, circa 1900. Before casting, it was signed in the wax ‘Paulo Troubetzkoy’. It has a brown patina with green undertones. Collections: Museo del Paesaggio, Verbania; marble. The son of a Russian prince and an American musician mother, Troubetzkoy was born in Italy, but retained Russian nationality. He became one of the most sought-after portrait sculptors of his day, the equivalent in sculpture of the flamboyant society painters John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini. George Bernard Shaw described him as ‘the most astonishing sculptor of modern times’. This sculpture and its variant entitled Dopo la posa (‘Girl Arranging her Hair’), both of which Troubetzkoy created around 1894, featured in some of his most important exhibitions worldwide. The same model is thought to have posed for a third sculpture by Troubetzkoy – an allegorical figure on an Italian monument – also modelled in the early 1890s. Whilst Dopo la posa was commercially very successful, and many bronze casts exist, few lifetime examples of the present work seem to have been produced. None of the casts seen of this model are dated, but a similar etching of this subject was executed in 1894.
24 PRINCE PAUL TROUBETZKOY Russian, 1866–1938
25 ROBERT WLERICK French, 1882–1944
Horse and Jockey 1933 16 x 17 x 7 in; 41 x 42 x 18 cm
Lulu Lapalue, Nude Torso 1931 30 x 11 x 9 in; 77 x 28 x 23 cm
A fine quality early twentieth century bronze model of a Horse and Jockey.This bronze was cast by the lost wax process in Milan in 1933. Before casting it was signed and dated in the wax: ‘Paulo Troubetzkoy’, ‘1933’. It has a medium brown patina with darker brown undertones.
A rare, fine quality early twentieth century bronze model of a nude torso entitled Lulu Lapalue. This bronze was cast by the lost wax process at the Claude Valsuani foundry in Paris during the sculptor’s lifetime. Before casting it was signed, numbered and stamped in the wax: ‘R. Wlerick’, ‘7/8’, ‘C. Valsuani Cire Perdue’. It has an inky black patina.
Provenance: Senator Mario Crespi, Milan, 1933. This is a rare model of a relatively unusual subject for the artist. Whilst his portraiture oeuvre includes some important equestrian portraits, the racing theme is perhaps uniquely represented by this fine model. It is a double portrait of the champion racehorse Crapom and his famous jockey Paolo Caprioli, commissioned to mark their string of victories in 1933, which included the Milan Grand Prix, the Ostend Grand International and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Paris. Crapom, a three-year-old at the time, was out of Cranach and Pompea, hence his unusual name. There is a number ‘1’ modelled on to the saddle cloth on the jockey’s right–hand side. The impasto finish to this bronze is a familiar feature of Troubetzkoy’s sculpting style, and adds to the sense of movement so well captured in the composition. Senator Crespi also owned the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera (‘Evening Courier’), and a further portrait exists of his wife with her dog, which Troubetzkoy completed in 1925.
Provenance: Private collection, France. Lulu Lapalue was a professional model. Wlérick’s first version of this work was 44 cm tall and included the head. He then worked on a larger version, removing the head and simplifiying the figure. The presentation of a ‘fragmentary’ figure, without head or limbs, has its origins in Rodin’s work and became popular among French sculptors of the inter-war period. The focus on the torso allowed the artist to concentrate on sculptural qualities, rather than follow the traditional ‘expressive’ or ‘narrative’ line. This bronze was cast from Wlérick’s working plaster, and he was so pleased with the work that he made a version in marble – something he very rarely did. Gérard Wlérick, the artist’s son, has confirmed that it is a lifetime cast. Wlérick was known for working in detail on each bronze cast, paying great attention to the hammering and chasing of the surface.
C. Chevillot, L. Colas & A. Pingeot, Francois Pompon, catalogue raisonné, Gallimard/Electra – Réunion des musées nationaux, Paris, 1994. Veronique Fromanger, Rembrandt Bugatti, sculpteur, Les Editions de l’Amateur, Paris, 2009. Roger Fry, ‘The Sculptures of Maillol’, in The Burlington Magazine, April 1910. Edward Horswell, Rembrandt Bugatti, Life in sculpture, Sladmore Gallery Editions, London, 2004. C. Judrin, M. Laurent & D. Vieville, Auguste Rodin, Le Monument des Bourgeois de Calais dans les collections du musée Rodin et du musée des Beaux-Arts de Calais, ed. Musée Rodin, Paris & MBA, Calais, 1977. P. A. Lemoisne, Degas et son oeuvre, 4 vols, 1947–48; reprinted 1984. A. G. Macdonell, Napoleon and His Generals, 1934. Felix Marcilhac, Sandoz, Sculpteur figuriste et animalier, Les Editions de l’Amateur, Paris, 1993.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many thanks to: Ken Adlard, Amanda Brookes, Keith Davey, Patrick Elliott, Paul Forty, Veronique Fromanger, Peter John Gates, John Grioni, Merlin James, Steve Russell, Paul Verbraeken and Oliver Wootton.
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