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A FRENCH WHITE MARBLE FIGURE ENTITLED 'LA MUSE D'ANDRE CHENIER' , by Denys Puech, the naked girl with her hair falling to her left side, holding the guillotined head of the poet and embracing it on the forehead, seated on drapery, on a naturalistic base, signed D.PUECH 1902

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A FRENCH WHITE MARBLE FIGURE ENTITLED 'LA MUSE D'ANDRE CHENIER' , by Denys Puech, the naked girl with her hair falling to her left side, holding the guillotined head of the poet and embracing it on the forehead, seated on drapery, on a naturalistic base, signed D.PUECH 1902

21¼in. (54cm.) high

Lot Essay

Denys Puech (d.1942), sculptor and engraver of medals, studied under Jouffroy, Chapu and Falguière. He made his debut at the Salon in 1875 and continued to exhibit there throughout his entire career. In 1884 he was awarded the Prix de Rome, the first of many awards he was to receive during his career. He was enormously popular with critics and the public alike, becoming well-known for his public commissions and monuments all over Paris, such as at the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Comédie Française and the Opéra Comique.

The present work entitled La muse d'André Chenier is a reduction of the group of the same title commissioned by the state in 1888 and on its completion in the same year placed on show in the Musée du Luxembourg. André Chenier was a well-known royalist poet guillotined at the time of the Revolution in 1794. Two variations of the same model exist: a marble replica of the original with a circular stepped base, executed in 1896, to be found in the Musée d'Orléans; another, with a rocky base such as the present example, can be seen at Rodez in the Musée Puech. A further marble reduction with the rocky base was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle of 1900. Bronze reductions were edited by A.A. Hébrard and biscuit editions were manufactured by Sèvres.
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