Lot 49
  • 49

Louis Eugène Dejean

20,000 - 25,000 GBP
25,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Louis Eugène Dejean
  • Les Passions s'élevant vers les Muses (Passions rising to the Muses)
  • signed: L Dejean and with an old white sticker inscribed in pen: 1126
  • bronze, brown green patina, on a veined green and black marble base
  • bronze: 98.5cm., 38 3/4 in.
    base: 12cm., 4 3/4 in.

Catalogue Note

Louis Dejean trained under Auguste Rodin, becoming a prominent member of the Bande a Schnegg, a group of disciples of the great master led by Lucien Schegg and including François Pompon, Léon Drivier, Charles Despiau and Alfred Jean Halou. The present, remarkable, and finely cast column of twisting human forms is fundamentally indebted to Rodin and, in particular, recalls the tumult of figures adorning The Gates of Hell, which was conceived during the 1880’s when Dejean would have been working in Rodin’s studio. The present model was created in 1910, and four bronze versions were commissioned by Charles Paix-Séailles to adorn the corners of a library shelf. Dejean exhibited at the Salons des Artistes Français from 1890 to 1893 and at the Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1899. Many of his early works were statuettes of women in contemporary dress, dubbed tanagras modernes, and were reminiscent of the style of Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. Following numerous of the Bande a Schnegg, after the Great War, Dejean moved away from the Rodinesque style seen in the present bronze, towards a more severe classical style. The Muse alongée seen in this same sale is the exemplar of Dejean’s new style and was made as the macquette for a prestigious commission for a statue for the new Palais des Musées d'art moderne (today the Palais de Tokyo). Dejean is also famous for his monumental statue of Peace, which was made for the S.S. Normandie.

The Museum Europeu d'Art Modern, Barcelona (MEAM)

The Museu Europeu d’Art Modern (European Museum of Modern Art) is one of Barcelona’s hidden gems, situated in an elegant 18th-century palace in the heart of the city’s old town, El Born. Founded for the promotion of 20th and 21st-century figurative sculpture and painting, the museum houses an outstanding and growing collection of contemporary art. Each year it hosts the Figurativas Painting and Sculpture Awards, which brings together representations of the human form by contemporary artists from across the globe.

The following lots are a carefully curated selection of highlights from the Museum’s collection of 19thand 20th-century sculpture. It begins with a series of elegant classicising and Romantic marbles, led by Émmanuel Hannaux’s magisterial Le poète et la sirène (lot 34). These works evidence the belle époque fascination with the idealised human form, combined with wistful and exotic subjects. Affortunato Gori’s sumptuous Oriental Dancer (lot 37) highlights the fin de siècle taste for Orientalist subjects, reflecting major literary works from the time, notably Oscar Wilde’s Salome (1906). Historicism is represented in the very rare and dramatic original terracotta Monument to Beethoven by Théodore Rivière (lot 48).

The divergent movement towards a modernist aesthetic is witnessed in George Minne’s beautifully carved Le petit blesse II (lot 59) which represents the Symbolist desire to depict inner emotions in plastic form. Several works within the sale were created by artists like Minne, who were heavily influenced or trained by Auguste Rodin. The most striking of these is Louis Dejean’s column of swirling and twisting bodies (lot 82), which recalls Rodin’s Gates of Hell. A more classicising modernist aesthetic is seen in Fritz Klimsch’s elegant rendering of Frühling (Spring) (lot 63). This is complemented by Raymond Delamarre’s strong Art Deco David (lot 55), and his totemic torso LaBolognaise (lot 70). However, perhaps the most beautiful of the Art Deco sculptures is the Nude Girl by Jaume Otero i Camps (lot 40), a Catalan artist with native resonances for MEAM. Charles Despiau’s Le Faune (lot 58), seen on the cover of the catalogue, displays a softer classicism in line with the work of Aristide Maillol. Portraiture is represented by François Pompon’s charming Bust of André Leproust, and Jan and Joël Martel’s extraordinary clean-cut image of Professor Henri Vignes.

Each of the works in the catalogue were exhibited in Una mica d’escultura, si us plau! L’escultura europea del segle XX at MEAM, a dedicated exhibition of the Museum’s collection of European 19thand 20th-century sculpture.