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A French white marble and bronze bust of a Moor
A French white marble and bronze bust of a Moor

BY NICOLAS MAYER, DATED 1909

Details
A French white marble and bronze bust of a Moor
By Nicolas Mayer, Dated 1909
Inscribed to the side N. Mayer/1909, on a square spreading socle with gilt Arabic inscription
31 in. (80 cm.) high

Lot Essay

A pupil of Charles Cordier (d. 1905), the master of Orientalist sculpture, Nicholas Mayer (d. 1910) exhibited frequently at the Salon at the turn of the century, becoming an honourable member of the Salon des Artistes Franais in 1904. Like Cordier, Mayer drew inspiration for many of his works from the exotic races of North Africa and the Middle East. Unlike his mentor, whose pioneering use of gilt, silvered and patinated bronze in juxtaposition with exotic marbles, onyx and semi-precious stones created fabulously rich images out of his subject-matter, Mayer chose the altogether simpler combination of white marble and bronze, and in that respect his work relates more closely to the style of the Italian school of Orientalist sculptors, and in particular, to the work of the latter's leading exponent, Pietr Calvi (d. 1884).
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