Lot 18
  • 18

Germaine Richier

1,500,000 - 2,500,000 USD
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  • Germaine Richier
  • Don Quichotte
  • Inscribed with the signature G Richier, numbered 4/6 and with the foundry mark Susse Fondeur Paris 
  • Bronze
  • Height: 87 7/8 in.
  • 223.2 cm


Frank Lloyd, New York (founder of Marlborough Fine Art)

Acquired from the above on December 19, 1967


René de Solier, La Biennale de Venise, Paris, 1952, no. 17, illustrations of another cast pp. 45-48

Waldemar George, "Les Sculpteurs construisent un univers de formes: les idoles de Germaine Richier" in Art et Industrie, Nancy, 1954, no. 29 

Pierre Francastel, La Nouvelle sculpture, Germaine Richier, Paris, 1954, mentioned pp. 316-320 & p. 399

Grenier Jean, "Germaine Richier, sculpteur du terrible" in L'Oeil, Paris, 1955, no. 9, mentioned pp. 26-31

Denys Chevalier, "Un Grand sculpteur: Germaine Richier" in Prestige français et Mondanités, Paris, September 1956, no. 19, illustrations of another cast pp. 60-65

Bernard Milleret, "Envoûtement de Germaine Richier" in Les Nouvelles littéraires, Paris, October 11, 1956

Suzanne Tenand, "De Germaine Richier à Léonard de Vinci" in Tribune des nations, Paris, October 16, 1956

Georges Limbour, "Le pouce de Germaine Richier" in France Observateur, Paris, November 1, 1956

Michel Conil-Lacoste, "Germaine Richier ou la confusion des règnes" in Cahiers du sud, Marseille, February 1957, mentioned pp. 307-311 

Yvon Taillander, "Germaine Richier" in Connaissance des Arts, Paris, June 1958, no. 77, mentioned pp. 24-29

Georges Limbour, Germaine Richier (exhibition catalogue), Galerie Creuzevault, Paris, 1959

Peter Selz, "Germaine Richier 1904-1959" in New Images of Man, New York, 1959, mentioned pp. 129-33

Michel Seuphor, "XV. La sculpture figurative" in La Sculpture de ce siècle, dictionnaire de la sculpture moderne, Neuchâtel, 1959, mentioned pp. 109-18

Jean Cassou, Richier, Sculpteurs Modernes, Paris, 1961

Marianne Adelmann, "Sculptures in The Streets" The Studio, London, November 1962, no. 835, pp. 164-69

Enrico Crispolti, "Germaine Richier" in I maestri della scultura, Milan, 1968, no. 65, mentioned pp. 50-52

Ionel Jianou, Gérard Xurigura & Aube Lardera, "Richier Germaine" in La Sculpture moderne, Paris, 1982, mentioned p. 178

Elisabeth Lebovici, "L’atelier de Germaine Richier vu par Pierre-Olivier Deschamps" in Beaux-Arts magazine, Paris, November 1989, no. 73, mentioned pp. 94-99

Catalogue Note

An undisputed favorite within Germaine Richier’s oeuvre, Don Quichotte exemplifies the technical adventurousness that marked her late career. Standing at over two meters in height, Don Quichotte is one of two sculptures Richier created in a series of works inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’s Spanish novel, Don Quixote. Don Quichotte à la lance (1949) and Don Quichotte (1950-51) are remarkably similar to the existentialist masterpieces L'Homme au doigt (1947) and L’Homme qui marche I (1960) by Alberto Giacometti. Richier explored the tradition of figurative sculpture in Paris as a student of Émile Antoine Bourdelle alongside Giacometti. Together, they experimented with the human form, combining a monumental, imposing size with a rich rendering of surface.

Richier’s similarities with Giacometti are discussed in the exhibition catalogue for her retrospective at the Kunst Museum Bern,“Germaine Richier is heiress to the figurative tradition in sculpture, which she studied intensively as a private pupil of Émile-Antoine Bourdelle in Paris. She pursued, however, a very independent and extremely diversified artistic path, making it difficult still today to classify her work as belonging to a specific style or movement. Her art is associated with the tenets of existentialist philosophy just like Alberto Giacometti’s art, who studied together with her at Bourdelle’s studio. Indeed, on closer scrutiny, the existential nature of her artworks is apparent in the torn and fissured figures, whose blatant insecurity is inscribed with a wired tension into their very beings” (quoted in Germaine Richier – Retrospective (exhibition catalogue), Kunst Museum, Bern, 2014, p. 15).

The present work was once in the personal collection of Frank Lloyd, the Austrian born entrepreneur who founded Marlborough Fine Art. Under Lloyd’s direction, Marlborough grew into one of the most important and influential galleries which in its prominence, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, had locations in London, New York, Rome, Zürich, Toronto and Montreal. In 1963, Lloyd opened the New York gallery in the Fuller Building on East 57th Street where he represented the most important Abstract Expressionists including Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, Adolph Gottlieb and the Estates of Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, Franz Kline and William Beziotes. In addition to representing the central figures of Abstract Expressionism, Lloyd also exhibited work by some of the greatest figures in twentieth-century art including, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, Oskar Kokoschka and Barbara Hepworth.