Another 19th c. exhibition at the Talabardon & Gautier Gallery


1. Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923)
Algae 1900
Bronze - 73.7 x 62.8 x 21.5 cm
Paris, Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

16/3/11 – Paris – Art market – When entering the new exhibition at the Talabardon & Gautier Gallery, visitors will notice a pile of pebbles at the back along the wall and possibly wonder if the dealers have not turned now to land art, presenting Richard Long along with the 19th century artists which they usually feature.
Upon closer inspection, a bronze object stands on top of this mineral accumulation, a strange form which quickly distinguishes itself as a piece of algae. This fascinating work, in a very Art nouveau style, is in fact a bronze sculpture by Sarah Bernhardt ! We now know that the actress was also one of the most interesting sculptors of the second half of the 19th century. She was no dilettante but worked almost professionally, having learned painting under Alfred Stevens, Gustave Doré and Georges Clairin, sculpture with Mathieu-Meusnier and Jules Franceschi and exhibited at the Salon as of 1874.
This bronze, which dates from 1900, is part of a series with a sea theme : fish, coral and algae. She herself recounts that she worked with plaster casts, which she probably remodeled, and then had them founded using the lost wax process.


2. François-André Vincent (1746-1816)
Allegory of the Liberation of the
Slaves in Algiers by Jérôme Bonaparte
, 1806
Huile sur toile - 37.4 x 45.5 cm
Paris, Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier



This is probably the most spectacular piece in the exhibition, but does not take away from other remarkable works, such as a small study by François-André Vincent for the painting at the Neu Gallery in Kassel, Allegory of the Liberation of the Slaves in Algiers by Jérôme Bonaparte (ill. 2). Of note, there is also Two Young Savoyards by Claude-Marie Dubufe, a canvas which, although dated 1820 seems to have been painted fifteen or thirty years later given its realism which evokes Philippe-Auguste Jeanron or Octave Tassaert, rather than a student of David.


3. Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
Not Heartless
Black and brown ink (versus, red chalk)
26.6 x 21 cm
Paris, Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

4. Paul Grandhomme (1851-1944)
and Alfred Garnier (1848-1908)
Heracles and the Twelve Labours,
efter Gustave Moreau
Copper plaque displaying a polychromatic enamel décor
18.3 x 14.9 cm
Paris, Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Paris, Galerie Talabardon & Gautier


We would also point out a watercolour by Delacroix, Greek Man Playing a Lute, a very beautiful oil landscape on paper by Eugène Isabey, as well as a large Symbolist painting by Ary Renan, The Diver. But there are also three rare and valuable works which confirm the dealers’ taste for unusual objects. The first is a “dessin-empreinte” by Paul Gauguin, Not Heartless (ill. 3). The technique consists in covering a sheet with printer’s ink, then placing another one on top of it ; the artist then executes his drawing on this second sheet. The pressure of the crayon makes the ink come out through the back of the first sheet. This is the one Gauguin exhibited.
The second surprising object is a pebble (yet another !) painted by Hippolyte Bellangé and mounted on a bronze base, probably by Pierre-Jules Mène. Finally, we conclude with a copper plaque displaying a polychromatic enamel décor after Gustave Moreau (ill. 4), produced by Paul Grandhomme and Alfred Garnier.

Galerie Talabardon & Gautier, 134 faubourg St-Honoré, 75008 Paris. Tel : 01 43 59 13 57. Email : talabardon.gautier@wanadoo.fr. A catalogue has been published for the occasion.

Notes 1. It was exhibited in Fontainebleau in 2008 at the exhibition highlighting Napoleon’s brother.


Didier Rykner, mercredi 16 mars 2011



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