The present marble, La Fontaine, was first modelled in plaster by the sculptor in 1896 (Burollet, op. cit. S. 28/A), intended as a preparatory plaster for a marble to be exhibited at the Salon de la Société nationale des Beaux-Arts. Bartholomé retained the plaster in his studio, which inspired several later versions in bronze and marble, one of which was recorded as part of his widow's collection in 1928. Another version in marble, dating to 1905, is part of the Imperial Collection in Japan. The present La Fontaine, with its fluid lines and organic structure, presents the opportunity to acquire an impressive marble by the important symbolist sculptor who has been recently 'rediscovered' (see Burollet, op. cit.).
P. Kjellberg, Bronzes of the 19th Century: Dictionary of Sculptors, London, 1994, pp. 52-53; T. Burollet, Bartholomé: La redécouverte d’un grand sculpteur, Paris, 2017, pp. 245-247, no. S.28
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