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Nel Wouters, Overijsse.
Acquired by the grandfather of the present owner, Boitsfort, thence by descent.
In Statuette Rik Wouters again chose Nel, his beloved wife and muse, as his model. In this charming sculpture, her posture is gracious and delicate. Slightly bend and her head turned to one side, she holds her dress elegantly, which then falls down in a multitude of folds.
Wouters succeeded in giving a spiral movement to Statuette. It starts with the head bend and turned, then the play of the arms, working together to trace a turning line which begins on top of the head, along Nel's look at her left elbow, going down along her arm on her back, returning to the front with her upper right arm holding the hand that supports the dress, thus creating the many folds in it. This turning aspect of the sculpture and its light movement through the position of her hips, are cleverly balanced by the folds in her dress, falling down vertically to the floor and outlining her breasts horizontally.
Statuette of 1908 is the first important piece by Rik Wouters in which he shows a liberty of sculpting that was unknown until then. Neither his Nymph from 1907, still heavy and academic, or his Rêverie, also from 1907, a powerful piece but leaning very heavily on Rodin, have the personality Statuette has. Here Wouters expresses himself in a refined and audacious manner at the same time, giving his model a very free and spontaneous movement. Contrary to the realization of a nude, the production of a 'dressed' sculpture, in which the draping is executed as well as in Statuette, sometimes showing the body but also breaking away from it in movement, requires a capability that not other sculptor can claim.
A. Pit in: Onze Kunst, February 1916 (another cast ill.)
A.J.J. Delen, Rik Wouters (Monographies de l'art belge), Antwerp (another cast ill.)
N. Wouters, La Vie de Rik Wouters, Brussels 1944 (another cast ill.)
J-A. Goris, Modern sculpture in Belgium, 1948 (another cast ill.) R. Avermaete, Rik Wouters, Brussels 1986, p. 213
Brussels, Vème Salon des Indépendants, 1908, no. 211 (the plaster cast)
Brussels, 18ème Salon de la Libre Esthétique, 1911, no. 258 (the plaster cast)
Brussels, VIIIème Salon des Indépendants, 1911, no. 231 (the plaster cast)
Brussels, Galerie Georges Giroux, 1912, no. 81 (another cast)
Antwerp, Salon de l'art contemporain, 1913 (another cast)
Antwerp, Salon de l'art contemporain, 1914 (another cast)
Brussels, Galerie Georges Giroux, 1914 (another cast)
Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Academy, 1914 (another cast)
Paris, Galerie Petit, 1916 (another cast)
Rotterdam, De Rotterdamsche Kunstkring, 1916 (another cast)
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, 1917 (another cast)
Antwerp, Salon de l'art contemporain, 1923 (another cast)
Brussels, Exposition de la Libre Académie de Belgique, 1925 (another cast)
Bern, Exposition de l'art belge, 1926 (another cast)
Brussels, Exposition centennale de l'art belge, 1930 (another cast) Brussels, Palais des beaux-arts, Exposition Rik Wouters, 1935, no. 11 (another cast)
Brussels, Palais des beaux-arts, Rik Wouters, sculptures, 1943, no. 13 (another cast)
Rotterdam, Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Expositie Rik Wouters, 1946 (another cast)
The Hague, Haags Gemeentemeuseum, Expositie Rik Wouters, 1946 (another cast)
Malines, Salles des fêtes, Exposition rétrospective Rik Wouters, 1946 (another cast) Ghent/Verviers/Maastricht, Tentoonstellingen Rik Wouters, 1947 (another cast) Antwerp, Museé des beaux-arts, 1947
Antwerp, Middelheim, Exposition internationale de sculpture en plein air, 1950 (another cast)
Tilburg, Paleis-Raadhuis, Tentoonstelling Rik Wouters, 1953 (another cast)
Venice, Biennale, 1956 (another cast)
Antwerp, Museum voor Schoone Kunsten, 1957, no. 4 (another cast)
Paris, Museé National d'Art Moderne, 1957 (another cast)
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Rik Wouters. Des origines à l'oeuvre, 23 February - 26 May 2002, cat.no. 45 (another cast)