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François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008)
François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008)
François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008)
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François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008)
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On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more Property from a Private European Collection
François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008)

Troupeau de Moutons

Details
François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008)
Troupeau de Moutons
composed of one Bélier, three Moutons Transhumants, two Moutons de Pierre, two Brebis and two Agneaux
lier: signed, with artist’s monogram, dated, numbered and stamped with foundry mark 'LALANNE FXL Landowski Fondeur 1997 100/250' (under the chin)
Mouton Transhumant: each signed and numbered, some with artist’s monogram and dated '51/250 94 LALANNE'; '76/250 FXL LALANNE' and '55/250 FXL LALANNE' (on the back of the head)
Mouton de Pierre: each signed, with artist’s monogram and numbered 'FXL LALANNE 77/250' and 'FXL LALANNE 136/250' (under the chin)
Brebis: each signed, with artist’s monogram, dated, numbered and stamped with foundry mark 'LALANNE FXL Landowski Fondeur 1997 144/250' and ‘LALANNE FXL Landowski Fondeur 1999 197/250’ (under the chin)
Agneau: one with artist’s monogram and each dated, numbered and stamped with foundry mark 'Blanchet Fondeur 1997 98/500' and 'FXL Blanchet Fondeur 2008 280/500’ (under the chin)
patinated bronze and epoxy stone
Bélier: 37 ¾ in. (94.7 cm) high; 40 1/8 in. (101.9 cm) wide; 13 ¾ in. (34.9 cm) deep
Mouton Transhumant: 35 ½ in. (90.1 cm) high; 41 3/8 in. (105 cm) wide; 13 in. (33 cm) deep
Mouton de Pierre: 33 7/8 in. (86 cm) high; 41 3/8 in. (105 cm) wide; 13 in. (33 cm) deep
Brebis: 35 7/8 in. (91.1 cm) high; 39 ¾ in (100.9 cm) wide; 14 1/8 in. (35.8 cm) deep
Agneau: 20 ½ in. (52 cm) high; 24 in. (60.9 cm) wide; 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm) deep
Executed between circa 1979 and 2004
Provenance
For the Bélier 100/250, Brebis 144/250 and 197/250 and Agneau 98/500
Monumental Art Products AG, Zug.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, circa 2011.
For the Mouton Transhumant 51/250 and 76/250, Mouton de Pierre 77/250
Jean David Botella Gallery, Paris.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, circa 2016.
For the Mouton Transhumant 55/250
Galerie de Souzy, Paris.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2014.
For the Mouton de Pierre 136/250
JGM Galerie, Paris.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2012.
Literature
R. Rosenblum, Les Lalanne, exh. cat., Château de Chenonceau, 1991, p. 139 (other examples of Mouton de Pierre illustrated, p. 76 and illustrated in situ at various exhibitions, pp. 122 and 124).
D. Marchesseau, The Lalannes, Paris, 1998 (other examples of Bélier, Brebis and Agneau illustrated, p. 37; other examples of Transhumant illustrated, pp. 52-53 and illustrated in color, p. 115; other examples of Mouton de Pierre illustrated in color in situ at the Chenonceau retrospective, p. 146).
Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, exh. cat., Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, 2006 (other examples of Bélier, Transhumant, Brebis and Agneau illustrated in color in situ in gardens, pp. 2-3 and 66-67).
D. Abadie, Lalanne(s), Paris, 2008 (other examples of Mouton de Pierre illustrated in color, pp. 186-187; other examples of Bélier, Brebis and Agneau illustrated in color, p. 188; other examples of Mouton de Pierre illustrated in color in situ at the Chenonceau retrospective, pp. 191-191; other examples of Mouton de Pierre illustrated in situ at various exhibitions, pp. 325-326 and 335).
Les Lalanne, exh. cat., Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 2010 (other examples of Mouton de Pierre illustrated in situ at the Chenonceau retrospective, p. 142; other examples of Bélier and Transhumant illustrated in color in situ on Park Avenue, New York, p. 143).
P. Kasmin, Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, New York, 2012 (other examples of Bélier, Transhumant, Mouton de Pierre, Brebis and Agneau illustrated in color).
A. Dannatt, François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne: In the Domain of Dreams, New York, 2018 (other examples of Bélier, Transhumant and Brebis illustrated in color, pp. 66-67; other examples of Agneau illustrated in color, p. 86; other examples of Bélier and Agneau illustrated in color, pp. 180-181 and 192; other examples of Bélier illustrated in color, pp. 228 and 262; other examples of Transhumant illustrated in color, pp. 254-255).
C. Lalanne and F-M. Banier, Claude et François-Xavier Lalanne, Montreuil, 2018, vol. 1 (other examples of Nouveaux Moutons, pp. 40-41) and vol. 2 (other examples of Nouveaux Moutons, pp. 48-49; other examples of Transhumant and Agneau, p. 53).
Special Notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. Where Christie's has provided a Minimum Price Guarantee it is at risk of making a loss, which can be significant, if the lot fails to sell. Christie's therefore sometimes chooses to share that risk with a third party. In such cases the third party agrees prior to the auction to place an irrevocable written bid on the lot. The third party is therefore committed to bidding on the lot and, even if there are no other bids, buying the lot at the level of the written bid unless there are any higher bids. In doing so, the third party takes on all or part of the risk of the lot not being sold. If the lot is not sold, the third party may incur a loss. The third party will be remunerated in exchange for accepting this risk based on a fixed fee if the third party is the successful bidder or on the final hammer price in the event that the third party is not the successful bidder. The third party may also bid for the lot above the written bid. Where it does so, and is the successful bidder, the fixed fee for taking on the guarantee risk may be netted against the final purchase price.

Third party guarantors are required by us to disclose to anyone they are advising their financial interest in any lots they are guaranteeing. However, for the avoidance of any doubt, if you are advised by or bidding through an agent on a lot identified as being subject to a third party guarantee you should always ask your agent to confirm whether or not he or she has a financial interest in relation to the lot.
Sale Room Notice
Please note that Lot 608, which was not marked with a symbol in the catalogue, now has a guarantee fully or partially financed by a third-party who may be bidding on the lot and may receive a financing fee from Christie’s.

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Vanessa Fusco
Vanessa Fusco

Lot Essay

Since the first flock of 24 was conceived in Paris in 1965, François-Xavier Lalanne’s Moutons have become his most iconic and iterative work. Elegant yet whimsical, perplexing yet seductive, this Troupeau de moutons embodies the fantastical and all-encompassing magical kingdom that Les Lalannes imagined and crafted throughout their lives.
François-Xavier Lalanne’s flair for the surreal is a recurring cornerstone in his design. In the early 1950s, François-Xavier lived in Paris in the Impasse Ronsin, where he developed a friendship with his neighbor, Constantin Brancusi, and later socialized with Max Ernst and Man Ray. Influenced by the Surrealist impulses of these peers, François-Xavier Lalanne’s work evolved into whimsical designs that simultaneously provided function and comfort. The sheep themselves were born of this whimsy, as François-Xavier once explained “I thought that it would be funny to invade that big living room with a flock of sheep. It is, after all, easier to have a sculpture in an apartment than to have a real sheep. And, it’s even better if you can sit on it” (quoted in op. cit., 1998, p. 36). Lalanne’s inaugural flock, Moutons de Laine, was an homage to the daring passage in Homer’s Odyssey, where Ulysses and his comrades narrowly escape from the Cyclops Polyphemus’ cave. The troupe clung to the underbellies of the great giant sheep, even as the monstrous blind ogre runs his hand over their woolly coats.
In the Paris apartment, the sheeps’ fluffy and illustrious coats added a plush comfort to the whimsical space. In Ury, at Les Lalanne’s country home just south of Paris, François-Xavier began to re-imagine his iconic form. Claude Lalanne grew inspired by their gardens, crafting smaller, delicate works that referenced their botanical haven. She crafted delicate and spindly gold branches, entwining them into elegant candelabras, or adorned mirrors with bronze foliage. Her husband, on the other hand, found the countryside inspirational for large and imaginative design. François-Xavier stripped away the furry woolly exterior and dressed the flock in epoxy stone. He placed them in the countryside, allowing them to “graze” in the outdoors.
The present flock encompasses several of the Mouton’s most distinctive designs. Varying in size and demeanor, each sheep is personified and individualized, presenting their own unique character and personality. Smallest and most demure, the Agneaux are the darling of the flock, with petite and spindly hooves that evoke mischief and youthful wonder. Slightly larger, the Moutons de Pierre and the Brebis represent the formal composition of the flock. Some present with rounder stomachs and softer features, others slightly lean and with a darker patina. The three Moutons Transhumant represent the flock’s wandering nature, their name speaking to a nomadic migration, suggesting this flock may wander throughout the seasons. Finally, the Bélier presides over the flock, a strong ram with curled and prominent horns. As a whole, each sheep’s individual personality contributes to the flock’s surrealist and whimsical presence.
Today, Lalanne’s Moutons have been coveted by collectors and designers such as Yves Saint-Laurent, Tom Ford, Peter Marino, Karl Lagerfeld and Hubert de Givenchy. Les Lalanne was also the subject of a major retrospective at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2010, and their career and legacy will be explored at the Clarke Institute in Massachusetts in 2021.

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