CLAUDE LALANNE (1924-2019)
CLAUDE LALANNE (1924-2019)
CLAUDE LALANNE (1924-2019)
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CLAUDE LALANNE (1924-2019)
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Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s F… Read more
CLAUDE LALANNE (1924-2019)


CLAUDE LALANNE (1924-2019)
Pair of 'Sphinxes', 2000
patinated bronze
signed, stamped with artist's monogram and dated 1/8 A CL LALANNE 2000 and 1/8 B CL LALANNE 2000
27 in. (68.6 cm) high; 58 in. (147.3 cm) wide; 23 1/8 in. (59.1 cm) deep (each)
Acquired from J.G.M. Galerie, Paris, 2000.
P. Kasmin, Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne: Art, Work, Life, New York, 2012, n.p.
Special notice

Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.
Post lot text
Historically, the sphinx has been depicted in various ways as a half human, half lion creature with wings. The Great Sphinx of Giza is the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt created by ancient Egyptians during the reign of Khafre (circa 2558–2532 BC). The Great Sphinx was also called "Horus of the Horizon", the sun god that stands above the horizon. Lions were specifically used as the inspiration for the sphinx as they were associated with the very first pharaohs. At Abydos, site of early Egyptian burials, lions were found buried with pharaohs. The Great Sphinx represented a combination of animal strength and royal power. The symbol of the sphinx is timeless and has remained an important symbol of protection and power in Europe and Asia from ancient Greece to reigning monarchs.
François-Xavier Lalanne was enamored with ancient art and he incorporated Egyptian and Assyrian characteristics into his sculpture, paying close attention to the animal form in ancient wall reliefs and idol sculpture. The present lot, the Pair of ‘Sphinxes’, is a direct call back to the ancient world, but with a twist. In this rendition, the powerful muscles of the lion depicted on the bottom half of the sculpture are contrasted with the face of a cherub and a flair of foliage around the head, rather than the handsome, idealized face of the pharaoh. These oversized bronze sculptures, measuring almost five feet wide each, serve the same historical purpose as protector with their powerful pose and air of divinity. Just as sphinxes were designed to flank the doors to a temple or tomb, this pair flanked the doors of ‘La Rêverie’.

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