• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2773

    Twentieth Century Art

    4 December 2007, Amsterdam

  • Lot 95

    Rik Wouters (BELGIAN, 1882-1916)

    Attitude - Statuette (étude de portrait)

    Price Realised  


    Rik Wouters (BELGIAN, 1882-1916)
    Attitude - Statuette (étude de portrait)
    bronze with a dark brown patina
    93 cm. high
    Conceived in 1908 and cast in the 1940s in an edition of circa 8.

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné on the artist's sculptures currently being prepared by the Belgian Art Research Institute. We kindly thank Olivier Bertrand for his help in the authentification process and for his help in cataloguing this lot.

    Special Notice

    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €5,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €5,001 and €400,000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €400,001. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.


    Nel Wouters, Overijsse.
    Acquired by the grandfather of the present owner, Boitsfort, thence by descent.

    Pre-Lot Text

    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)