Lot 9
  • 9

Aristide Maillol

1,500,000 - 2,500,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Aristide Maillol
  • Le Monument à Claude Debussy
  • Inscribed A. Maillol, labeled epreuve d'artiste and inscribed with the foundry mark Alexis Rudier Fondeur Paris
  • Bronze


Dina Vierny, Paris

Acquired from the above in 1988


Judith Cladel, Maillol, sa vie, son oeuvre, ses ideés, Paris, 1937, illustration of another cast pl. 32

John Rewald, Maillol, New York, 1939, no. 113 illustration of the stone version p. 113

Andrew C. Ritchie (ed.), Aristide Maillol, with an Introduction and Survey of the Artist’s Work in American Collections (exhibition catalogue), Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, 1945, no. 36, illustration of another cast p. 94

John Rewald, Maillol, Paris, 1950, illustration of the stone version pl. 49

Waldemar George, Aristide Maillol, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1965, no. 198, illustration of another cast p. 198

Bertrand Lorquin, Aristide Maillol, New York, 1995, illustration of another example p. 95

Urrsel Berger & Jörg Zutter, Aristide Maillol, Munich & New York, 1996, no.83, illustration of the plaster p.52 and the marble version p. 140

Catalogue Note

Maillol achieved great fame as a sculptor of the female form, employing this subject both naturalistically and allegorically. The present sculpture, which was created in tribute to the great French composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918), is a beautifully modelled nude, her head gently bowed in quiet contemplation. The voluptuous contours of the figure and the classically-inspired monumentality display a wonderful harmony of composition and serenity of mood.  Originally conceived for a site-specific installation at St. Germain-en-Laye, the birthplace of the composer, the sculpture evokes the calmness of Debussy's most famous compositions.  Another cast of this work is now featured on the grand staircase of the Metropolitan Opera House at New York City's Lincoln Center.

In his monograph on the artist, John Rewald wrote: "To celebrate the human body, particularly the feminine body, seems to have been Maillol's only aim. He did this in a style from which all grandiloquence is absent, a style almost earthbound and grave. The absence of movement, however, is compensated by a tenderness and charm distinctively his own; and while all agitation is foreign to his art, there is in his work, especially in his small statuettes, such quiet grace and such warm feeling that they never appear inanimate. He has achieved a peculiar balance between a firmness of forms which appear eternal and a sensitivity of expression – even sensuousness – which seems forever quivering and alive" (J. Rewald, Maillol, New York, 1958, pp. 6-7).