Lot 1
  • 1

PROSPER D' EPINAY | Le Rêve (The Dream)

Estimate
30,000 - 50,000 GBP
Log in to view results
bidding is closed

Description

  • Prosper d' Epinay
  • Le Rêve (The Dream)
  • signed: P d'E
  • terracotta
  • 46 by 96cm., 18 1/8  by 37 3/4 in.

Provenance

Vente d'Epinay, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 20-21 April 1885

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 1882, no. 58

Literature

P. Roux Foujols, Prosper d'Épinay (1836-1914): Un mauricien à la cour des princes, Ile Maurice, 1996, pp. 104-105

Condition

Overall the condition of the terracotta is very good, with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is a slip to the surface of the terracotta. There are some small chips and losses around the lower edges of the sculpture, in particular at the corners and at the front underneath the extended leg. The proper left foot appears to have been made separately, and there is a joint at the lower leg. There are some minor stable original firing cracks, including to the bed beneath the scrolled headrest, and to the reverse.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

Le Rêve's risqué subject matter is seemingly unique in the oeuvre of Prosper d'Épinay. This is likely to be the terracotta version which was exhibited at Galerie Georges Petit in 1882. The model relates to another by the sculptor, shown at the Salon in 1884, which represents the courtesan Marion from Alfred de Musset's poem, Rolla; its terracotta version was sold in these rooms on 23 November 2010 (lot 81). Le Rêve is even more overtly inspired by Henri Gervex's scandalous painting Rolla than d'Épinay's version of the same subject. Depicting the courtesan asleep on a bed in a suggestive pose, the painting was excluded from the Salon of 1878 on the grounds that it was 'immoral'. While Le Rêve replicates the pose of the woman in Gervex's painting, d'Épinay enhances its eroticism with his model's gesture, which is tantalisingly concealed by her bent leg. It is hardly surprising that, rather than at the Salon, Le Rêve was shown at the alternative, and perhaps more progressive, exhibition space of Georges Petit. For a biography of Prosper d'Épinay, see lot 26.