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    Sale 7710

    19th Century Furniture, Sculpture, Works of Art and Ceramics Including Property from The Palazzo of a Milanese Noble Family

    19 March 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 99

    A FRENCH GILT AND SILVERED-BRONZE FIGURE ENTITLED 'LA NATURE SE DEVOILANT DEVANT LA SCIENCE'

    CAST BY SUSSE FRÈRES, PARIS, FROM THE MODEL BY LOUIS-ERNEST BARRIAS, EARLY 20TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A FRENCH GILT AND SILVERED-BRONZE FIGURE ENTITLED 'LA NATURE SE DEVOILANT DEVANT LA SCIENCE'
    CAST BY SUSSE FRÈRES, PARIS, FROM THE MODEL BY LOUIS-ERNEST BARRIAS, EARLY 20TH CENTURY
    Signed E. Barrias, Susses Fres Edtrs and stamped with foundry cachet
    28½ in. (72.5 cm.) high


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    Barrias's most celebrated work, an homage to advances made in scientific exploration, first appeared in marble at the Paris Salon of 1893 by its lengthier title 'La Nature mystérieuse et voilée se découvre devant la Science' (no. 2543) and was fittingly acquired by the faculty at l'Ecole de Médecine in Bordeaux. The figure resurfaced at the 1899 Salon simply titled 'La Nature se dévoilant' (no. 3186), executed in polychrome marble and Algerian onyx, a taste that gained popularity by pioneers in polychromy such as Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier and Eugne Cornu. However, the first casts exhibited by Susse were shown in various sizes and to great critical acclaim at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, prompting orders for bronze and parcel-gilt versions. At the Liège Exhibition of 1905, the renowned bronzier Théodore Millet deemed the model a tour de force for the Susse firm and proclaimed it 'the finest of the works exhibited'. Following their overwhelming success, the firm exhibitied a cast of Barrias's variant model at the Exposition at Turin titled 'La Nature dévoile ses trésors' - a partially-draped full-length nude in two-tone gilding.

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