Restorations of 19th century sculptures in Lille


French 19th century and first-half 20th century sculpture is currently being highlighted in Lille. Following the recent publication of the catalogue sommaire (reviewed here by Jacques Foucart), and with the exhibition of the Laporte-Pellegrin donation (see news item of 11/01/10), as well as the acquisition of a plaster maquette for the building housing La Voix du Nord (see news item of 22/12/09), several monumental works have left the reserves, some of which have been restored.

Four of these are once again exhibited in the museum’s reception hall which was, in fact, previously reserved for sculptures.

- Emile-Edmond Penot, The Prey, (ill. 1). This artist received the Prix de Rome in 1881 and designed the project for this sculpture, dated 1888 and exhibited in 1889 during his stay at the Villa Medicis. Although the influence of Michelangelo is often mentioned when describing this spectacular piece, Pierre Puget is a more convincing reference no doubt, notably (more in the spirit than in the actual composition) his Milo of Croton at the Louvre.

1. Emile-Edmond Peynot (1850-1932)
The Prey, 1888
Marble - 197 x 152 x 220 cm
Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Didier Rykner



- Gustav-Frederic Michel, Form Disengaging Itself from Matter (ill. 2). In this case, Michelangelo’s presence is indeed evident in this marble work both in the style as well as in the subject and treatment, left unfinished on purpose. The plaster model can be found at the Musee d’Art et d’Industrie in Roubaix.

2. Gustave-Frédéric Michel (851-1924)
Form Disengaging Itself from Matter, 1902
Marble - 172 x 150 x 95 cm
Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Didier Rykner



- Edgar-Henri Boutry, Pax (ill. 3). Prix de Rome in 1887, a native of Lille, the sculptor is represented by several works at Palais des Beaux-Arts. The Laporte-Pellegrin donation (seenews item of 11/01/10) also includes a bronze plaque. This allegory of Peace, very classical, evokes perhaps the end of WWI.

3. Edgar-Henri Boutry (1857-1939)
Pax
Marble - 222 x 116 x 82 cm
Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Didier Rykner



- Eugene-Valentin Deplechin, Amphitrite (ill. 4). Born in Roubaix, Deplechin is known above all for his sculpture of the Petit Quinquin for the monument to Alexandre Desrousseaux in Lille. The Palais des Beaux-Arts also holds a plaster statuette which is preparatory for this Amphitrite. The large plaster cast is held at the Musee d’Art et d”Industrie in Roubaix [1].

4. Eugène-Valentin Déplechin (1852-1926)
Amphitrite, 1893
Marble - 195 x 71 x 58 cm
Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Didier Rykner



- Another plaster sculpture was restored and is exhibited in a basement room, before the ones devoted to the Middle Ages. Its restoration led to a change in attribution. This beautiful Cleopatra (ill. 5) is not by the Lille artist Albert Darcq as thought until now and as stated still in the catalogue sommaire which has just appeared but rather by a Parisian, Charles Gauthier, whose signature reappeared after cleaning the statue.

5. Charles Gauthier (1831-1891)
Cleopatra
Plaster- 122.5 x 180 x 89 cm
Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Didier Rykner



- Finally, a famous work (ill. 6) which was exhibited in the sculpture galleries is enjoying a second youth after its restoration which rid it of three layers of builtup paint. This is the model for the Satyre and Bacchante by James Pradier, the marble being at the Louvre, which had set off a scandal for its eroticism at the Salon in 1834. At the time Juliette Drouet was thought to be the figure of the bacchante and James Pradier himself the satyre (ill. 7), (a theory which no longer holds water today).

6. Jame Pradier (1790-1852)
Satyre and bacchante, 1834
120 x 113 x 80 cm
Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Didier Rykner

7. Jame Pradier (1790-1852)
Satyre and bacchante, 1834
120 x 113 x 80 cm
Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Didier Rykner


Didier Rykner, lundi 21 décembre 2009


Notes

[1] the restoration was funded thanks to Eaux du Nord



imprimer Print this article

Previous article in News Items : An important donation on exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille

Next article in News Items : A large plaster cast by Robert Coin acquired by Lille