Sculpture by Design: Rateau | Giacometti | Les Lalanne

Sculpture by Design: Rateau | Giacometti | Les Lalanne

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 310. Singe Attentif I.

Property from an Important European Collection

François-Xavier Lalanne

Singe Attentif I

Auction Closed

December 8, 04:49 PM GMT


1,000,000 - 1,500,000 USD

Lot Details


Property from an Important European Collection

François-Xavier Lalanne

Singe Attentif I

circa 1992

number 3B from an edition of 8 plus 4 artist proofs

offered en suite with the following lot

lifetime cast produced by Fonderie Clementi, France

gilt bronze

monogrammed fxl, impressed SI, numbered 3/8 B and with the producer's mark

30⅛ x 5¼ x 8 in. (76.5 x 13 x 20.3 cm)

Galerie Mitterrand, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1992
Daniel Marchesseau, Les Lalanne, Paris, 1998, p. 134 (for a related model)
Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, exh. cat., Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York and Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, 2006, pp. 30-31 and 67 (for related models)
Les Lalanne, exh. cat., Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 2010, pp. 108 and 112 (for related models)
Paul Kasmin, Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, New York, 2012, n.p. (for a related silvered bronze model)
Adrian Dannatt, François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne: In the Domain of Dreams, New York, 2018, p. 117 (for a related silvered bronze model)

Respectively known as Singe I and Singe II, these charismatic figures are among François-Xavier Lalanne’s most beloved bestiaries and epitomize the outstanding practice of the celebrated animalier sculptor. Designed to rest on a ledge, the Singes are characterized by their slender sweeping tails and stoic elegance. The combination of playfulness and vigilance which is so masterfully conveyed through their facial expressions is a trademark of Lalanne's work, contributing to the sculptures' approachability and irresistible charm. 

The sculptor ended up producing a wide range of monkey-inspired subjects throughout his career. The Babouin fireplace and the Gorille de Sûreté safe, both introduced in the early 1970s, serve a utilitarian purpose that the artist eventually departed from in his later, more sculptural works such as the Singe Avisé, Singe Attentif and Singe I and II.

Indeed, monkeys held a special place in François-Xavier Lalanne’s bestiary. While he claimed that animals in general were at the center of his artistic vocabulary because of the great variety of forms provided by the zoological world, monkeys in particular were reminiscent of the dignified Egyptian deities he once contemplated while working as a guard in the Egyptian and Assyrian art galleries at the Louvre. Lalanne infused his own monkeys with a hieratic dignity similar to ancient statuary, as evidenced in the poised posture and nonchalant assurance of the two present Singes

While Lalanne explored this model in a variety of different patina colorations, it is undeniably the “gold monkey” that is most revered and sought-after by collectors today. The present offering provides Lalanne collectors with a unique opportunity to acquire a pair of this highly desirable icon by the artist in superb condition.