FRANÇOIS LOUIS SIMECEK | PORTRAIT OF CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Overall the condition is very good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age, including some surface scratches. The patination may conceal some condition points. The head has been attached to the base; the joint is probably original. There are a few small chips, notably to the edges and corners of the base. Minor residues, notably to the base.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
David and Constance Yates, New York, 2015
A self-taught sculptor, François Simecek found his true calling through studying the art of sculptors such as Auguste Rodin, Antoine Bourdelle, and Charles Despiau. This bust of the eminent French composer, Claude Debussy, was created during a flourishing period in Simecek's career, in which he modelled numerous busts of his notable friends, including Elie Faure (1935) and Pablo Picasso (1938). Conceived in 1937, the posthumous portrait of Debussy was cast in a bronze version which is now in the Musée de l'Opéra, Paris. Simecek sought to express his interpretation of Debussy's interior life, as revealed by the man's physical appearance. In his treatise, Masque et visage: architecture de l'esprit (1947), the sculptor uses the bust of Debussy to illustrate his practical instructions for sculptors on how to represent an individual's character by synthesising minutely observed details on the subject's face.
Danny Katz is a great admirer of Claude Debussy's music. His favourite ballet, L'après-midi d'un faune (1912), is set to Debussy's 1894 symphonic poem of the same name.