Lot 9
  • 9

Louis Sauvageau French, born 1822

bidding is closed


  • Nymph holding a bird's nest
  • signed: Sauvageau
  • white marble

Catalogue Note

Louis Sauvageau first exhibited in the Salon in Paris in 1848, where he showed skill in a variety of different genres – allegorical, religious, and mythological sculptures. He was taught by Justin-Marie Lequien and Armand Toussaint. Sauvageau’s last participation at the Salon was in 1874, but it is uncertain whether that was also the year of his death. Although he worked across different media, his most prolific output seems to have been in bronze sculpture: works by Sauvageau on the art market are almost exclusively bronzes. Particularly the groups of Autumn and Winter, both represented by a mother and child, have appeared at auction several times. Works by the sculptor in marble are, by contrast, exceedingly rare.

The sale of Nymph holding a bird's nest is therefore a singular opportunity to acquire an exceptional marble by Sauvageau. The carving on the sculpture is exquisite, showcasing the finest quality. The intricate folds and swirls of drapery are especially fine on the back and at the sides. The nymph fondly looks down on the nest of birds in her arm: the birds raise their heads in return.  Overall, the lasting impression is one of pure innocence and ethereal beauty.


S. Lami, Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs de l'Ecole Française au dix-neuvième siècle, Paris, 1919 (1970), vol. 4, p. 237;
P. Kjellberg, Bronzes of the 19th Century. Dictionary of Sculptors, Atglen, 1994, p. 611