A French Art Nouveau patinated bronze sculpture by Théodore Rivie`re, featuring two intricately-sculpted figures from the story of Carthage. The woman has emerald eyes and her crown is accented with rubies. The subject of this figural sculpture is taken from Gustave Flaubert''s novel, "Salammbô." The story takes place between 241 and 238 BC, during the war between Carthage and its mercenaries, who were in revolt. Mâthô, the Lybian rebel chief, fell in love with Salammbô, the daughter of the Carthaginian leader. This scene depicts the moment when the mortally wounded Mâthô dies at Salammbô''s feet, declaring his love for her. The figure of Salammbô, the femme fatale,also inspired other Symbolist artists.Pictured in: "Art Nouveau 1890-1914", V&A exhibit by Paul Greenhalgh, page 122; "Nineteenth Century Sculpture" by Maurice Rheims, p. 372 # 15; and in: "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris" by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p. 229.
A French Art Nouveau lighted gilt bronze sculpture by Charles Korschann, depicting a woman holding a bouquet of flowers on a tray with an inkwell on the opposite side.The elegant female form''s bouquet of hydrangeas is wonderfully lit so as to radiate dappled light outward. The disproportionate size of the lady in flowing golden robes implies she is a mythical creature tending to her garden. Pictured in: "Art Nouveau and Art Deco Lighting" by Alastair Duncan, page 129 and in "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris" by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p. 164.
A French Art Nouveau bisque ceramic figural sculpture by Agathon Léonard, titled "La danse du tambourin, tete penchée à droite" ("Tambourine dance, head leaning to the right"), from the series "Le jeu d''écharpe." Le jeu d''écharpe, created by Agathon Léonard at the turn of the 20th century, consists of 15 sculptures of young women in various poses. Some women dance with scarves; others hold musical instruments or carry flaming torches. Each of the 15 dancers is unique in terms of her pose, hair style and dress. Their dresses exhibit fluid drapery with flowing sleeves. The series was produced in both bronze and ceramic. Le jeu d''écharpe was inspired by the dancer Loïe Fuller. Pictured in: "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris" by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p. 186; and in: Agathon Léonard: Le geste Art Nouveau, by Ingelore Böstge, Paris: Somogy editions d''art, 2003, p. 52, cat. no. 14.
A French Art Nouveau gilt bronze vide poche by Max Blondat, titled "An Embrace." The vide poche features the heads and torsos of a man and a woman sweeping up from the sides of the dish. Each of the lovers has an arm around the other. Pictured in: "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris", by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p. 57.
A French Art Nouveau gilt bronze tray with sculpted femme fleur by Louis Chalon, titled "Pirouetting Femme-fleur." The female nude stands, with upraised arms, on a rose blossom. A vine climbs up her legs, and she wears a foliate wrap on her back. The tray rim is decorated with flowers. Pictured in: "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris", by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p. 107.
A French Art Nouveau silvered bronze figural sculpture by Agathon Léonard, featuring a woman dancing and playing a tambourine. This figure is one of "Le jeu d''écharpe" (The Scarf Set), originally produced and cast by Sèvres, and awarded a Gold Medal at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. The series was later cast in bronze by the Susse Frères foundry, with special limited editions in silvered bronze, such as this piece. Le jeu d''écharpe, created by Agathon Léonard at the turn of the 20th century, consists of 15 sculptures of young women in various poses. Some women dance with scarves; others hold musical instruments or carry flaming torches. Each of the 15 dancers is unique in terms of her pose, hair style and dress. Their dresses exhibit fluid drapery with flowing sleeves. Le jeu d''echarpe was inspired by the dancer Loïe Fuller. Pictured in "Agathon Léonard: Le geste Art Nouveau" by Ingelore Bostge, page 68 cat. 49.
A French Art Nouveau vase by Charles Korschann in gilt-bronze. The vase has a diamond-shaped base that tapers to a narrow rounded top, where it intersects with swirling stems and flower buds that form the handle, and features sculpted decoration in relief. On the front, we see a nude female figure emerging from a field of poppies with flowers in her long, flowing hair. The composition is all about movement and abundance, with the entire space carpeted in flowers and the maiden''s hair spilling out over the frame. The reverse, on the other hand, is more sedate and controlled, depicting a stylized arrangement of flower buds, stems and leaves in a structured, ordered composition, executed in a lower relief with thin incised lines echoing the shape of the three flower buds like ripples in the water. The vase combines many common motifs from Symbolist and Art Nouveau design: bats (shown in relief on the top), poppies and seductive women, or femmes fatales. Together, they evoke a mysterious dream-state, suggested in the identification of poppies with opiates and bats with the night.
A French Art Nouveau sculpture, "Four Peacocks," by Léopold Savine, depicting the bust of a woman surrounded by four peacocks whose tails form the pedestal on which her bust sits. Executed in patinated and silvered bronze. Pictured in: "Art Nouveau" by Judith Miller, p. 201; "Bronzes: Sculptors and Founders 1830-1930" by Berman, p. 775 # 2854; "Art Nouveau The French Aesthetic" by Victor Arwas page 249; and in: "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris" by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p.236.
A French Art Nouveau gilt bronze figural vide-poche by Loiseau-Rousseau titled "Riding the Wave," with the head of a woman situated below a breaking wave. The vide-poche has the shape of a sea shell. Pictured in: "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris" by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p. 202.
A French Art Nouveau ceramic bisque figural sculpture by Agathon Léonard, featuring a woman dancing with a tambourine, titled "La danse du tambourin, tete penchée à gauche" ("The tambourine dance, head leaning to the left"}, from the series "Le jeu d''écharpe." Le jeu d''écharpe, created by Agathon Léonard at the turn of the 20th century, consists of 15 sculptures of young women in various poses. Some women dance with scarves; others hold musical instruments or carry flaming torches. Each of the 15 dancers is unique in terms of her pose, hair style and dress. Their dresses exhibit fluid drapery with flowing sleeves. The series was produced in both bronze and ceramic. Le jeu d''écharpe was inspired by the dancer Loïe Fuller. Pictured in: "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris" by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p. 187; and in: Agathon Léonard: Le geste Art Nouveau, by Ingelore Böstge, Paris: Somogy editions d''art, 2003, p. 51, cat. no. 12.
A French Art Nouveau bisque ceramic figural sculpture by Agathon Léonard, featuring a woman holding her dress with her right hand. Titled "Danseuse au cothurne" from "Le jeu de l''écharpe." This figure is one of the "la danse" (the dance) set, originally produced and cast by Sèvres and presented by the artist at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. A cothurne (English translation cothurnus) was a laced boot worn by actors in Greek and Roman tragedies. Le jeu d''écharpe, created by Agathon Léonard at the turn of the 20th century, consists of 15 sculptures of young women in various poses. Some women dance with scarves; others hold musical instruments or carry flaming torches. Each of the 15 dancers is unique in terms of her pose, hair style and dress. Their dresses exhibit fluid drapery with flowing sleeves. The series was produced in both bronze and ceramic. Le jeu d''echarpe was inspired by the dancer Loïe Fuller. This smaller size series is extremely rare. A similar model is pictured in "Agathon Léonard: Le geste Art Nouveau" by Ingelore Boestge, Somogy editions d''art, Paris 2003, p.51, Plate number 13.
A French Art Nouveau silvered bronze figural sculpture by Agathon Léonard featuring a woman dancing titled "Danseuse chantant" (singing dancer). This figure is one of "Le jeu d''écharpe" (The Scarf Set), originally produced and cast by Sèvres, and awarded a Gold Medal at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. The series was later cast in bronze by the Susse Frères foundry, with special limited editions in silvered bronze, such as this piece. Le jeu d''écharpe, created by Agathon Léonard at the turn of the 20th century, consists of 15 sculptures of young women in various poses. Some women dance with scarves; others hold musical instruments or carry flaming torches. Each of the 15 dancers is unique in terms of her pose, hair style and dress. Their dresses exhibit fluid drapery with flowing sleeves. Le jeu d''echarpe was inspired by the dancer Loïe Fuller. A similar model is pictured in "Agathon Léonard: Le geste Art nouveau," by Ingelore Boestge, Somogy editions d''art, Paris 2003, p.62, Plate number 35. Provenance: Elizabeth Taylor
A French Art Nouveau patinated bronze figural sculpture, depicting a dancer with scarves and cymbals by Victor Ségoffin (1867-1925). Born in Toulouse, educated at Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Louis-Ernest Barrias and Pierre-Jules Cavelier, Segoffin won the Prix de Rome for sculpture in 1897.
A French Art Nouveau patinated bronze figural jardiniere by Alfred Marionnet. The body of the jardinere is decorated with a nude female embracing the vessel. The woman''s naked feed extend beyond the jardinere''s curving form. The vessel is also decorated with branches that have leaves and berries in relief. The rim of the jardinere is encircled by entwined branches.
A French Art Nouveau enameled bronze Femme Fleur by Henri Godet (1863-1937). The sculpture depicts the patinated bronze head and neck of a young woman growing out of an enameled red and yellow lily flower. It rests on a red marble base, with the flower perched on a green enameled leaf decorated with a gilt bronze flower. Literature: Alastair Duncan, "Art Nouveau Sculpture," New York, Rizzoli International, 1978, p. 47, for another example from the collection of Victor Arwas. "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris", Macklowe Gallery, New York, 2011 exhibition catalogue; pp. 133-34 for similar examples from this rare series, and p. 135 for an identical example on another base from a later date.
An Austrian Art Nouveau patinated bronze bust of Ophelia by Josef Öfner. Like the sculpture by Maurice Bouval, Öfner depicts Ophelia as a sleeping woman adorned with flowers. The sculpture rests on a painted wood base. The Austrian sculptor Josef Öfner (born in Tannheim, Austria in 1868) studied under Auguste Kühne and Otto König and was active in Vienna around the turn-of-the-20th-century. Like many of his peers, Öfner applied his skills to both decorative and visual arts, producing gilt bronze vases and trays in addition to figural busts. Pictured in: "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris", by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p. 218.
A French Art Nouveau gilt and patinated bronze portrait of Sarah Bernhardt by Paul François Berthoud. Sarah Bernhardt was the most important dramatic actress of the 19th century. She is portrayed here with a jeweled sash and flowing hair, no doubt a reference to her role as Gismonda in the play by Victorien Sardou. A slightly different portrait sculpture of Bernhardt by Berthoud is in the collection of the Musée d''Orsay.
A German Art Nouveau patinated bronze figural vide poche by Bernhard Hoetger featuring a windblown nude with floral vines climbing her leg and giving her some modesty. Pictured in: "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris", by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p. 146.
A French Art Nouveau bronze sculpture of a castanet dancer in motion with flowing gown by Rupert Carabin. This barefoot woman holds her castanets out in front of her. Carabin made a number of sculptures of dancers in different poses.
A French Art Nouveau "Fairy" or "La Fée" bronze sculpture by Louis Chalon. A nude female figure stands on an open flower with complex, textured roots. On her back are four "wings" in the shape of orchid leaves. An orchid petal rises from the back of her head. Signed in base of sculpture. The base of the sculpture is marble. A similar sculpture is pictured in: "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris," by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p. 106.
A French Art Nouveau patinated bronze sculpture by Sarah Bernhardt. This sculpture is known to be a self-portrait with a chimera personification. The Chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of more than one animal. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything composed of very disparate parts, or perceived as wildly imaginative, implausible, or dazzling. This work has been accessioned into the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Art Boston, The Virginia Museum of Fine Art and the Princeton Museum. There was also a sculpture given by the artist to King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, and it remains in the Royal Collection Trust.
A French Art Nouveau gilt bronze figural sculpture by Louis Chalon. Chalon''s dancing woman with an octopus at her feet, one of its tendrils wrapped around her leg, is a pure expression of feminine sensuality. Her veils summon the Orient, imbuing her with exoticism. Her freeform dance movement and extended limbs enact her sexual ecstasy. The piece explores the turn-of-the century fascination with Japanese shunga, artwork that depicts sensual pleasures. Many showed women being engulfed by an octopus in varied and multiple ways. A similar sculpture is pictured in: "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris," by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p 101.
A French Art Nouveau gilt bronze lighted sculpture, "Loïe Fuller," designed and sculpted by François-Raoul Larche. This is the most famous of all bronzes to be made in the Art Nouveau aesthetic, representing the famous American dancer and choreographer, Loïe Fuller performing one of her dances. Her flowing robes and fabrics conceal two light bulbs. This sculpture has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions, most notably at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Villa Stuck Museum in Germany.
A German Art Nouveau bronze sculpture, "La Pleureuse," by Bernhard Hoetger, depicting a weeping woman with her head in her hands. The sculpture is executed in patinated bronze.Bernhard Hoetger (born 4 May 1874 in Dortmund; died 18 July 1949 in Interlaken) was an important German sculptor, painter and handicrafts artist of the Expressionist movement. The son of a Dortmund blacksmith, he studied stone carving and sculpture in Detmold from 1888 to 1892, before directing a workshop in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. After some time at the Dusseldorf Arts Academy, he took a trip to Paris, where he was deeply influenced by Auguste Rodin. Hoetger''s bronze sculpture of the American dancer Loïe Fuller shows evidence of Rodin''s influence, and marks the height of Hoetger''s accomplishments in the Art Nouveau style. Hoetger resided in Paris and participated in the founding of the Salon d''Automne in 1905. In 1911, Hoetger was employed as professor and "maitre" to the "artistic colony" of Darmstadt, where he remained until 1919.In 1914, inspired by Becker-Modersohn, he traveled to Worpswede. It was here where he met Ludwig Roselius, a German coffee merchant, with whom he would go on to create his masterpiece, Bremen''s Böttcherstraße, in an Expressionist style. In 1949 he settled in Switzerland, where he died.
A French Art Nouveau "Danseuse A L''Écharpe No. 12" gilt bronze sculpture by Agathon Léonard. Originally created as a smaller group of ceramic figures, possibly based on the dancer Loïe Fuller, the series was completed in hard porcelain by the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres as a fifteen-piece table-top group, "Jeu de L''Echarpe." After acclaim at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900, the French foundry Susse Frères produced bronze casts of these, incorporating discreet lighting on some models.Published/Exhibited: Macklowe and Goldring, "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris," 2011, p. 190; Böstge, "Agathon Léonard: Le geste Art Nouveau," 2003, p. 75.
A French Art Nouveau silvered bronze sculpture by Leo Laporte-Blairsy featuring a glass globe by Daum Nancy. The globe is in translucent blue glass decorated with white five-pointed stars. "La Voie Lactée" (The Milky Way) was first exhibited at the Société des Artistes Français in 1904 for which Laporte-Blairsy was a awarded the high honor of a first class medal.The young woman holding the glass globe wears a collar in the shape of a five-pointed star. The collar is decorated along its border with more five-pointed stars. The woman also wears a five-pointed star in her hair, and the lower portion of her flowing dress and her cape are covered with more five-pointed stars, including some that pierce the metal. Her billowing sleeves help to frame the globe. She wears bows on each should.Laporte-Blairsy was an incredibly divisive artist in his time. To the critics of the avante-garde literary magazine, "La Nouvelle Revue," the lighting of Laporte-Blairsy was a revelation. The magazine lauded Laporte-Blairsy as being "infinitely ingenious.... the Scheherazade of electric lamps.... bringing about a second enlightenment." By comparison, the lighting of Leo Laporte-Blairsy offended the immutable sensibilities of the Parisian old-guard. Maurice Hamel remarked in the 1904 "Revue des Arts Décoratifs" that Laporte-Blairsy broke the artichtectonic laws of decoration, labeling the arti
st a rulebreaker, or "hors-la-loi". In comparison to the inoffensive figuration of the French Renaissance, the rhythmic drapery of Laporte-Blairsy was tormented. Part of Laporte-Blairsy''s technical innovation was bringing out the unique characteristics of incandescent lighting. While gas powered lighting required vents and open structure, Laporte-Blairsy used the globe and balloon motif to trap and emit bewitching glows. The end of the 19th century marked the centenary of the invention of the hot air balloon. The recent flight of the Wright Brothers, coupled with numerous high profile hot air balloon flights, made balloonmania rise to an all time high. A similar sculpture is featured in "Art Nouveau and Art Deco Lighting," New York, 1978, by Alastair Duncan, p. 111, fig. 52. Also in "The Paris Salons 1895-1914, Vol. V: Objets D''Art & Metalware," Woodbridge, 1999, p. 367 (design illustrated). And in Victor Arwas, "Art Nouveau: The French Aesthetic," London, Andreas Papadakis, 2002, modèle reproduit p. 270.
An important American Arts & Crafts decorated silver box by Elizabeth Ethel Copeland. This rectangular box rests on four compressed bun feet. Decorated on all faces and the slightly raised lid with orange flowers and green leaves in polychrome enamel in octagonal cloisonné plaques amid ornamental designs in silver wire. The lid is hinged. Elizabeth Edith Copeland was a talented enamellist and metalsmith of the Arts & Crafts period. Despite having her artistic ambitions repressed for years, Copeland at the age of 30 managed to juggle her daily duties on her family''s dairy farm with art and design classes in Boston. Back on the farm, she pored over her notes while ironing, remarking drolly that "No doubt the garments suffered." Thankfully, she persisted, attracting the attention of a wealthy patron, Sarah Choate Sears, herself an accomplished photographer and watercolorist who had won prizes at four world expositions. Sears sent Copeland to London for a year to apprentice under the great enamellist Alexander Fisher. Along with the extraordinary Josephine Hartwell Shaw, Copeland earned the prestigious "Medalist" title from the Boston Society of Arts & Crafts. Her metalwork and jewelry have entered the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. This silver box shows Copeland at her best, with richly colo
red orange poppies attesting to her deep affinity with the Renaissance enamellists of centuries past.A student of medieval enameling, Copeland believed the ''honest'' hand work and craftsmanship of her unique creations should be celebrated, differentiating her work from the meticulously finished objects of the 19th century. Many of her pieces reflect her appreciation of Limoges enamels from the 12th through 15th centuries. Elizabeth Ethel Copeland was born with her twin sister, Frannie, in North Chelsea (now Revere), MA on August 23, 1866. By the late 1870''s, her family had moved to a farm in Bedford, where they sold a range of products - dairy, eggs, chicken, and fruit - with an estimated value of $1,345.00 in 1879. (2) An image from Google Maps shows the farm house (with later front room addition) at 394 North Road in Bedford. Period maps show a small barn behind where the garage is today. Even though Copeland and her sister moved to Boston, land records indicate they continued to own and rent the farm into the 1920''s. In her 30''s, Copeland started traveling into Boston once a week for art instruction. During a metalworking class, she became friends with Sarah Choate Sears, a philanthropist and leader of the Arts and Crafts movement. Sears became Copeland''s patron and financed her for a year in London to study metalsmithing and enameling. Copeland produced work that was widely acclaimed as some of the finest of her era. Considered one of the best colorists of her time working in the very difficult (not to mention unforgiving) medium of enamel, she sold her works through arts and crafts societies with many of her boxes priced around $100.00 (3). Her work was included in juried Arts and Crafts exhibitions in Boston, Chicago and Detroit; she exhibited at the Saint Louis ''Louisiana Purchase'' Universal Exposition of 1904 (4) and won a bronze metal at the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 (5). In 1916, she was awarded the ''Medalist'' designation by the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts, their highest achievement - and the first enameler so honored (6). Boston directory listings indicate that over her career, Copeland variously called herself a ''metalworker'', ''enameler'' and ''artist''. Indeed, her work includes all these talents. In Boston, she lived in boarding houses, primarily on Brimmer and Newbury Streets. She retired at about the age of 70 in 1936, around the time that Social Security was being introduced. The Arts and Crafts movement, meant to bring ''honest'' handwork back into craftsmanship, coincided with many other important changes in American society. Women started asserting themselves in the workplace, at the craft bench, in sport and in the voting booth. At the same time, American society changed from predominantly rural and agrarian to urban. Copeland''s life was on the vanguard of many of these important changes. Today, her work appears on the market only rarely and is highly sought after by museums and collectors. Many major museums have her work in their collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (promised gift); and the Art Institute of Chicago. The following engaging account of her story and workshop is by Hazel Adler in the Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine of 1916: In Boston our first objective point was the workshop of Elizabeth Copeland, enameler. Entering the dim room on the second floor back of an old building, we came upon a tall woman, garbed in an all-inclusive apron, moving with business like precision between two long tables laden with an assortment of tools and broken bits of colored glass and wires. As we approached one table we saw a little silver box the cover and sides of which were being filled with brilliant, translucent enamels of such colorful and imaginative charm that for a moment we almost imagined that we were looking at the opalescent green lights in the depths of the sea or the blue of deep evening or the purple shadows of the moon. One needs to know very little about enamel to feel the spontaneity and beauty of this work, but when one stops to consider that enamel is one of the most difficult means of artistic expression and has deteriorated gradually since its high-water mark in the fifteenth century, we turn to look again at this retiring New England woman whose art rivals some of the glorious achievements of the Renaissance. The story of Miss Copeland''s life is touched with many of the romantic qualities which lie in her work. From the endless duties of a rural household she managed with great effort to escape once a week during four years to come up to Boston to an art school without hope or possibility of ever increasing her vision or powers beyond what this school had to give her. In the fourth year she entered the metal-working class, and there attracted the attention of Mrs. J. M. Sears, a patron of enamels and herself an enameler. Through her sympathetic understanding and beneficence the gate of opportunity was suddenly flung open to the unbelieving girl, and she was sent abroad to study enameling under the greatest teachers the time afforded. Making herself independent of Mrs. Sears''s generosity as soon as possible, although her kindness is still a source of inspiration for every new piece of work, she established herself in the little back room in Boylston Street, and worked away day after day from early morning until evening, evolving new ideas and new possibilities, knowing her existence will never be long enough to achieve them all. Some of her work has found its way into Mrs. Sothern''s [Julia Marlowe Sothern was a famous Shakespearean actor and important patron of the arts & crafts movement, including Arthur Stone''s shop] notable collection of American craftsmanship, and into a few of our most progressive American art museums. (7) Endnotes: 2. ''Schedule 2. - Productions of Agriculture'' in Bedford, 9 & 10 June 1880, Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, from Ancestry.com accessed 23 March 2015. 3. Pricing information is culled from surviving financial records of the Society of Arts and Crafts, Detroit in the Archives of American Art. 4. Official Catalog of Exhibits: Universal Exposition Saint Louis 1904, (St. Louis: Official Catalog Company, 1904), p. 77. 5. Jeannine Falino and Gerald W. R. Ward, eds., "Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000," (Boston: MFA Publications, 2008), p. 337. 6. Karen E. Ulehla, The Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston Exhibition Record 1897-1927, (Boston: Boston Public Library, 1981), p. 59 and Allen H. Eaton, Handicrafts of New England, (New York: Harper Brothers, 1949), p. 285. 7. ''American Craftsmen'' by Hazel H. Adler in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, The Century Co., May - Oct, 1916, pp. 890-892.
A polychrome bronze Art Nouveau figural candelabrum by Gustav Gurschner. A young woman with brown hair, dressed in a long flowing green skirt, with her breasts exposed, holds a seed capsule in each arm, into which a candle can be inserted. Gurschner displayed his work through the Viennese Secession Group gaining him much acclaim. His depiction of bare breasted women largely survives any stricture in that they have a quiet dignity and poetic charm that never stoops to vulgarization. The woman holds in each arm a lotus flower seed capsule. The size of the capsules relative to her body makes her seem a flower fairy or spirit. A candle would be placed on each capsule, illuminating the dinner table with spectacular charm. In the lead up to World War I, Germany was swept by a wave of artistic nationalism. After spending most of the 19th century dominated by French influence, German artists desired a return to tradition. Integral to German tradition was the vibrant color of Late Medieval wooden sculpture. Since the 14th century, much of antique polychromy had deteriorated considerably, leaving large portions of the wood base exposed. The rich burnt sienna of this woman''s skin may refer to this exposed wood finish. Alternatively it might refer to the skin color of the dancers from the Java Pavillion (1889). After their blockbuster appearance in the World''s Fair, depictions of the d
ancers abounded in salons. Brown-skinned and black-haired women became appreciated in this context as harbingers of exotic delights. A similar candlestick is pictured in: "The Paris Salons 1895-1915, Vol. V: Objects d''Art and Metalware," by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 1999, p. 305ProvenanceRudi Schmutz, ViennaAcquired from the above by the present owner, circa 1980sLiteratureAlastair Duncan, Art Nouveau Sculpture, New York, 1978, p. 49 Wolf Uecker, Art Nouveau and Art Deco Lamps and Candlesticks, New York, 1986, p. 15Yvonne Brunhammer and Suzanne Tise, French Decorative Art, the Société des Artistes Décorateurs 1900-1942, Paris, 1990, p. 8 (for the model depicted in the Manuel Orazi poster)
A French Art Nouveau patinated bronze planter, "Chrysalide" (Chrisalis), by Paul-François Berthoud, featuring the head of a woman emerging from foliage. The crest of the planter is further adorned by a repeating floral motif. Pictured in: "The Paris Salons 1895-1914, Volume V: Objets D'' Art & Metalware," page 86, by Alistair Duncan, The Antique Collectors'' Club, 1999 and in "Dynamic Beauty: Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris," by Macklowe Gallery, The Studley Press, 2011, p. 55.
An Art Nouveau bronze Viper Box by Alfred Daguet. The box is decorated with enamel and cabochon glass jewels. The snake''s body is also decorated with these glass jewels. Its body coils around the serpent''s head, which is depicted with an open mouth, displaying its forked tongue and fangs. Alfred Louis Achille DAGUET (1875 - 1942) was a metalsmith active in Paris during the first part of the 20th century. His metalwork created prior to the outbreak of World War I, noteworthy for its versatility and virtuosity, is the most sought-after among collectors today. Daguet mined many sources for inspiration be they Egyptian, Celtic, Japanese, Byzantine, Medieval or contemporary. He received formal training under the painters, Gerome and Clairin, both academicians associated with the Ecole des Beaux-Arts who had traveled to Egypt and explored themes of orientalism in their work. Daguet''s studio in Paris was located at 22 rue de Provence, just above Siegfried Bing''s influential L''Art Nouveau boutique. It is this association with Bing that is most significant to Daguet''s metier and what firmly places his work in art historical context. As a promoter and purveyor of Japanese objects, Bing capitalized on the craze for japonisme by expanding his commercial galleries from 1895-1904 to include artist workshops capable of making everything conceivable to create harmonious interior spa
ces. Daguet''s finely-worked repousse copper sheets clad many decorative letter and desk boxes sold at Bing''s shop in the early 1900s. These boxes, which Daguet often further embellished with colored glass, unquestionably reflect the tenets of the Art Nouveau aesthetic. In addition to boasting famous clientele such as Sarah Bernhardt, who followed Daguet to his studio on rue du Faubourg Saint-Jaques following Bing''s death and the closure of his store, l''Art Nouveau, in 1905, Daguet''s work achieved critical success with inclusion in group expositions at the Musée Galliera, Paris, 1905, 1926; Salons of the Société des Artistes Français: 1900, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1909, 1910; and the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, 1901. Similar boxes by Daguet are pictured in: The Paris Salons 1895-1915, Vol. V: Objects d''Art and Metalware, by Alastair Duncan, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors'' Club, 1999, pp. 202-203.
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