52
52
Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier
FRENCH
JUIVE D'ALGER (JEWISH WOMAN OF ALGIERS)
Estimate
60,00080,000
JUMP TO LOT
52
Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier
FRENCH
JUIVE D'ALGER (JEWISH WOMAN OF ALGIERS)
Estimate
60,00080,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Orientalist Sale

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London

Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier
1827 - 1905
FRENCH
JUIVE D'ALGER (JEWISH WOMAN OF ALGIERS)
signed and dated C. Cordier 1862 
silvered and gilt bronze, with blue and red enamelling
45 by 31.5cm., 17¾ by 12½in. 
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Sale: Sotheby's, London, 29 November 1991, lot 130
Sale: Christie's, London, 17 March 1994, lot 242

Literature

Laure de Margerie and Edouard Papet, Charles Cordier, l'autre et l'ailleurs, exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris, 2004, no. 339, p. 185

Catalogue Note

In the summer of 1856 the sculptor Cordier spent six months living and working in Algeria. His fascination with ethnography led him to visit the French colony, with the express intention of reproducing ‘the different types that right now are merging into one and the same people.’ Cordier settled into a native quarter of the Kasbah in Algiers and began creating studies. At the start of the French possession of Algeria in 1830, twenty percent of the population of the city of Algiers was Jewish. It had grown further in the intervening years, making the inclusion of a Jewish Algerian subject an obvious choice for Cordier. His Juive d’Alger faithfully records the unique beauty of a particular woman, rather than a generic type. In the present version the intricacies of her costume are enhanced with exquisite enamelling and the silvered bronze surface is immaculately striated in order to convey different surface textures of hair, skin and drapery. 

Whilst the contemporary vogue for Orientalism helped establish Cordier, his work stood out from the overwhelmingly decorative representations of the genre as an almost scientific study of physiognomy and costume. Cordier’s lengthy trips abroad and studies from life gave his works an authenticity and authority which few could rival. His originality was also felt in his use of colour and mixed materials. Cordier’s technical mastery of casting, carving, enamelling and patinating was extraordinary. The finished effect was one of great opulence and luxury. His work was avidly collected by wealthy art lovers across Europe, including Napoleon III and Queen Victoria.

The Juive d’Alger was first exhibited in London at the International Exhibition in 1862 and at the Paris Salon the following year. The present bust is a reduction of the original bronze and marble version, and is recorded by Jeannine Durand-Révillon and Laure de Margerie in their Catalogue Raisonné written for the 2004 Cordier Exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. 

RELATED LITERATURE
Stanislas Lami, Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs de l’École Francaise, Paris, 1914, vol. 1, p. 420; J. Durand-Revillon, ‘Un promoteur de la sculpture polychrome sous le Second Empire, C.-H.-J. Cordier (1827-1905) in Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de l’Art française, Paris, 1982, pp. 181-198

The Orientalist Sale

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London