63
63
Aimé-Jules Dalou
FRENCH
BAIGNEUSE (JAMBES CROISÉES) S'ESSUYANT LE PIED (GAUCHE) (BATHER DRYING HER LEFT FOOT)
Estimate
30,00040,000
LOT SOLD. 40,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
63
Aimé-Jules Dalou
FRENCH
BAIGNEUSE (JAMBES CROISÉES) S'ESSUYANT LE PIED (GAUCHE) (BATHER DRYING HER LEFT FOOT)
Estimate
30,00040,000
LOT SOLD. 40,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th & 20th Century Sculpture, including works from Cecil Howard’s Studio

|
London

Aimé-Jules Dalou
1838 - 1902
FRENCH
BAIGNEUSE (JAMBES CROISÉES) S'ESSUYANT LE PIED (GAUCHE) (BATHER DRYING HER LEFT FOOT)

Catalogue Note

Marble versions of Dalou's nudes are extremely rare. This very finely carved marble version of the sculptor's Baigneuse s'essuyant le pied is likely to have been carved by Dalou's trusted friend and praticien Auguste Becker (1863-1944) circa 1908 (see Simier, op. cit., p. 387, who references a contract between Becker and the Dalou heirs for a Baigneuse jambe sur genou, dated 28 February 1908, no. 13; this may be the present model). Becker was asked by the executors of the sculptor's will to oversee the casting of the sculptor's models in bronze for the benefit of his daughter, who was handicapped. The present marble is carved with sensitivity and enshrines the delicate nuances of the flesh and musculature so powerfully modelled in Dalou's terracotta sketch, which is preserved in the Musée du Petit Palais in Paris (inv. no. PPSoo255). At the time of cataloguing, this beautiful sculpture is the only marble version known to the cataloguer. In terms of quality, its nearest comparison is the marble Avant le bain sold by Sotheby's on 2 July 2010, lot 195, for £127,500.

Dalou began modelling his nude studies in earnest during his exile in London from 1871 and probably continued until the 1890's. The nudes display a fascination with the subject. The sculptor worked and re-worked a series of models depicting nudes in guises typical of the genre, such as before and after the bath, towelling themselves, standing, bending down, or seated, taken by surprise or removing their stockings. These were more intimate sculptures than his studies of labourers and number among Dalou’s finest works. He chose to keep them private and they were never exhibited publicly at the Salon; they would be seen only in his studio or at private exhibitions. Despite this, they did not escape notice and his works of female nudes were well known, celebrated and collected during his lifetime.

Both the quality and the condition of the present marble are excellent.

RELATED LITERATURE
A. Simier, Jules Dalou: Le sculpteur de la République, exh. cat. Petit Palais - Musées des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 2013, pp. 386-387, no. 314

19th & 20th Century Sculpture, including works from Cecil Howard’s Studio

|
London