FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE | CAPRICORNE II
Property from a Prominent Private Collection
number 1 from an edition of 8
executed by Fonderie d'Art Bocquel, France
monogrammed FXL, numbered 1/8 and with the foundry's impressed mark
26⅜ x 52½ x 11⅝ in. (66 x 133.5 x 29.5 cm)
Overall in excellent condition. This rare iteration of a model that once inhabited the Lalanne’s living room is a highly sculptural piece conveying the artist’s mastery of animal proportions. The capricorn’s elongated body and sleek figure is enriched by its complex variegated patina of a rich deep olive green layered with russet brown and dark grey hues. The patinated bronze surface has been recently professionally cleaned and presents beautifully with great nuance and depth. The capricorn was executed with a subtle textural thatched surface, evoking the texture of the capricorn’s coat. The bronze surfaces with some minor surface irregularities and pinholes inherent in the making and not visually distracting. The underside of the belly with one small area of concentrated abrasion which is not visually distracting and only visible upon close inspection. A highly expressive and whimsical model displaying superb proportions and an exceptionally attractive, rich patina. This offering provides Lalanne collectors with the opportunity to acquire this highly desirable model in beautifully preserved original condition.
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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
JGM Galerie, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2008
Les Lalanne, exh. cat., JGM Galerie, Paris, 1994, p. 10 (for a variant of the model)
Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, Fragments, exh. cat., Galerie Enrico Navarra and JGM Galerie, Paris, 2000, pp. 22-23 and 60 (for a variant of the model)
Reed Krakoff, Ben Brown and Paul Kasmin, Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, exh. cat., Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York and Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, 2006, p. 42 (for a variant of the model)
Paul Kasmin, Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, New York, 2012, n.p. (for a variant of the model)
François-Xavier Lalanne’s Capricorne II is a splendid addition to the artist’s menagerie and a rare sight at auction. With its elongated torso and smooth, stylized features, the creature is imbued with a sense of refinement and grace that is characteristic of Lalanne’s most successful works. Three versions of the Capricorne are known to have been produced throughout his career, each characterized by a different orientation of the head. Capricorne I, the earliest iteration cast as early as 1988, faces forward; the head of Capricorn II, our present lot, is oriented backwards; and Capricorn III is turned sideways. Capricorne I was a centerpiece in the Lalanne living room and proudly guarded the fireplace (see previous spread), attesting to the significance of the model in the artist duo’s personal universe.