Maurice Bouval

1863-1920

Maurice BouvalMaurice Bouval was born in Toulouse, France and was a student of the grand-master Alexandre Falguière who produced the Triumph of the Republic for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Bouval was a prolific sculptor of functional bronzes such as table lamps, sconces, inkwells, candlesticks, salt cellars, covered boxes, and some non-functional decorative pieces. From 1880 until the beginning of the First World War he was very successful in his sculpting, often gilding smaller bronze objects and usually incorporating the female form. His bust of La Nuit: Femme aux Pavots (Night: Woman with Poppies) is one of the more famous and successful Art Nouveau Bronzes with Symbolist content. Other famous works include Ophelia, Femme assise, Jeune femme, Le Sommeil, and Le Secret et la Pensive. Bouval's bronzes combined, sensuous nymphs, water lilies, lotuses, and poppies with, a sometimes strong suggestion of symbolism and the supernatural. He was a champion of the Art Nouveau woman-flower hybrid and many of his works bear the stamp of the petit-maître.


He participated in the 1890 Exposition Universelle in Paris and exhibited with the Societé des Artistes Français regularly, first as a sculptor, then in the decorative arts section. He also showed with La Maison Goldscheider. At least three different founders cast his bronzes- Colin, Jollet, and Thiebaut frères. Bouval also designed a wide range of light fixtures including wall brackets, candelabra, candlesticks, and table lamps. His art was very well-known in his day, though less so today. After World War I the whereabouts of Bouval were unknown.