Louis-Ernest BARRIAS (1841-1905)

Lot 192
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Estimation :
20000 - 30000 EUR
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Result : 457 240EUR
Louis-Ernest BARRIAS (1841-1905)
Important statue in marble, Algerian onyx, malachite and lapis lazuli representing Nature unveiling itself before Science under the appearance of a young woman lifting a large drapery over her head. It rests on a quadrangular granite base signed E. Barrias. H : 102 cm It is presented on a molded and carved walnut sellette from the same period, made in the Renaissance style. H : 114 cm RESTRICTIONS : A SMALL CHIP IN POINT AT THE LEVEL OF THE VEIL. A SMALL PIECE OF ONYX IN THE DRAPERY. SMALL FELE WITH A BEETLE Provenance : Private collection, Île-de-France. Bibliography : - Pierre cadet, Susse Frères, 150 Years of Sculpture, Édition Susse Frères Paris, 1992. - Anne Pingeot, Antoinette Le Normand-Romain and Laure de Margerie, Musée d'Orsay Catalog illustré des sculptures, Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, Paris, 1986. - Pierre Kjellberg, Les bronzes du XIXe siècle, Dictionnaire des sculpteurs, Les éditions de l'Amateur, Paris, 1987. Two meters high, the monumental statue of "La Nature se dévoilant devant la Science" realized in marble and polychrome onyx from Algeria was commissioned to Barrias for the honorary staircase of the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, then, attributed in 1903 to the Musée du Luxembourg, finally, it is exhibited today at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris (RF 1409). Paris (RF 1409) (illustrated in A. Pingeot, A. Le Normand-Romain and L. de Margerie Musée d'Orsay, Catalogue illustré des sculptures, Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, Paris, 1986, p. 38); it bears the inscription on the plinth of the terrace: "E. Barrias/1899. J. Cantini marbles and onyx Marseille". A few years later, in 1902, a replica of the same height but entirely in white marble was acquired by the Faculty of Medicine of Bordeaux. At the same time, the model met with great success and the Maison Susse Frères produced reductions in patinated or gilded bronze, but also, for the most accomplished versions, in gilded and silvered bronze for the clothes, blue enamel for the jewelry and ivory for the face, the bust and the arms; see a copy of this type kept at the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris and reproduced in P. Cadet, Susse Frères, 150 Years of Sculpture, Édition Susse Frères Paris, 1992, p. 52, fig. 86. The Maison Susse also made a single version in white marble, half the size of the original, mentioned in Georges Lafenestre, L'oeuvre de Ernest Barrias, Paris, 1908, p. 105, n°41; the same notice mentions a single version entirely in marble and onyx made half the size of the original by Barrias for M*** in Paris, which obviously corresponds to the statue we propose. Louis-Ernest Barrias (Paris 1841-1905) is one of the most important French sculptors of the second half of the 19th century. He entered the École des Beaux-Arts in 1858 and was awarded the Premier Prix de Rome in 1865. Throughout his career, he distinguished himself by his talent, obtained a medal of honor of the Beaux-Arts and was named knight of the Legion of Honor in 1878.
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