Purchase of an Emile Peynot Cast by La Piscine in Roubaix

18/11/13 - Acquisition - Roubaix, La Piscine - At the Artcurial auction on 13 November when the Musée Delacroix pre-empted the Portrait of Jérôme Bonaparte by Géricault (see news item of 15/11/13), La Piscine in Roubaix (Musée d’Art et d’Industrie André Diligent) purchased a cast of a sculpture by Emile Peynot for 9,743€ (including charges), entitled Pro Patria (ill. 1).

1. Émile Peynot (1850-1932)
Pro Patria
Plaster cast - 32 x 53 x 38 cm
Roubaix, La Piscine, Musée d’Art et d’Industrie André Diligent
Photo : Artcurial

2. Émile Peynot (1850-1932)
Pro Patria, 1884
Plaster cast
Charleville-Mézières, Musée de l’Ardenne (?)
Old photograph at the Salon of 1884

3. Émile Peynot (1850-1932)
Pro Patria, 1886
Plaster cast - 58 x 160 x 61.5 cm
Old Photograph at the Musée du Luxembourg

A student of Pierre Robinet, Peynot was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1880. He enjoyed a long official career, receiving many government commissions and also working on important projects like the Opéra Comique, the Gare de Lyon and the Petit Palais [1]. He is also known for the superb group The Prey residing at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lille.

The work acquired by Roubaix reproduces the head and shoulders of one of the most famous sculptures by this artist of Pro Patria for which he presented the model at the Salon of 1884 (ill. 2) with resounding success. We refer to a work, sent from Rome as part of the residency requirements for award winners, depicting a young man fallen for his country. This cast was shipped to the Museum in Charleville [2] and the marble (ill. 3), commissioned by the state and exhibited at the Salon in 1886, was placed on deposit in 1960 at Saint Aubin les Elbeuf where it was stolen in 1990 !
The work is drawn of course, both as concerns the subject of the youth dying for his ideals as for the manner in which he is represented from the Bara by David whose position it copies almost literally and which David d’Anger had already reinterpreted in sculpture.

Version française

Didier Rykner, lundi 18 novembre 2013


[1] We found invaluable information on the sculptor in the excellent Dictionnaire des sculpteurs néo-baroques français by Guillaume Peigné (Ed. CTHS) which we will discuss shortly.

[2] It resides perhaps - we were not able to confirm it - today at the Musée de l’Ardenne in Charleville-Mézières which appears to have received the collections from the municipal museum after it closed.

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