Gaudez entered the École des Beaux-Arts in 1862 where he was a pupil of the noted sculptor François Jouffroy. He made his Salon debut two years later. He continued to exhibit his work regularly in public exhibitions and in addition to numerous honors he won Gold Medals at the Exposition Universelle of 1889 and 1890. Gaudez's output was prolific and his sculptural oeuvre encompassed a wide range of subjects from literary characters to mythological figures.
The present work displays all of the elements of a finely cast polychrome sculpture, a category of art which by the 1860's was gaining increasing acceptance by the critics and merited its own class in the Salons and Exposition Universelle. This Middle Eastern beauty would have been a subject much in vogue in Imperial France, but most importantly allowed Gaudez to indulge in a wide range of decorative embellishments. As a result of the alliance of fine art to industry, a revolutionary breed of sculptors was introduced to technical innovations such as faster casting methods and a larger range of colored patinas. His mixed media approach creates vibrant effects from the overall silver patination to the touches of deep red patina bordering the subjects silk turban and the gold tassels that fall across her shoulder. French colonization into Algeria yielded some of the most impressive mineral finds of the period, leading sculptors to decorate their works with semi-precious stones here shown by the dramatic necklace encrusted with lapis lazuli. Other notable details of the costume include the luxurious gold and silver brocaded vest, the patinas skillfully imitating gold and silver thread.
The 'Tiffany and Co.' stamp on the base refers to the prestigious retail operation of Tiffany indicating that Gaudez's casts had a ready market in America.
See also note to lot 72.