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    Sale 1940

    19th Century Furniture, Sculpture, Works of Art and Ceramics

    25 October 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 322

    A FRENCH PARCEL-GILT 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  

    Estimate

    A FRENCH PARCEL-GILT 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 and Susse Fre Etrs
    38¾ in. (98.5 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 Eugène 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.

    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR (LOTS 309-351)


    Literature

    P. Cadet, Susse Frères: 150 Years of Sculpture 1837-1987, Paris, 1992.

    S. Lami, Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs de L'Ecole Française, Paris, 1914.