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89

Joseph Bernard

La Danse des Roses

Joseph Bernard

Joseph Bernard

La Danse des Roses

La Danse des Roses

Joseph Bernard

French

1866 - 1931

La Danse des Roses


signed: J. Bernard and stamped: CIRE / PERDUE / A.A. HEBRARD

bronze, warm brown patina

37 by 25cm., 14½ by 9⅞in.

Overall in very good condition with minor surface dirt and wear consistent with age. A few slight nicks and scratches.


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. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color 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. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Joseph Bernard began his studies in Lyon and received a scholarship in 1886 which enabled him to travel to Paris to attend the École des Beaux-Arts. Whilst reference is often made to Auguste Rodin's influence, Bernard never worked in his studio, preferring to work nights at a printing press to finance the early lean years of his career. His fierce independence is reflected in his oeuvre, as he experimented with unconventional techniques such as carving in taille directe and modelling directly in plaster rather than clay. Towards the end of his career, Bernard's own influence on French sculpture had become immense. As one critic of the 1927 Salon d'Automne wrote: 'If all sculptures influenced by Bernard were removed from the galleries, what would there be left?'

La Danse des Roses was first modelled in plaster in 1905. During the course of that year, Bernard had experimented frequently with different interpretations of the theme of dance, modelling fluid and dynamic figures in clay and plaster. Compare the present bronze to his Danseur et Danseuse (Jullian, op. cit. cat. no. 75) and his Danseuse Nue (op. cit. no. 76), which is nearly identical to the dancer on the left side of the present group. The present group shows one dancer in several poses, with their hands laced together holding roses at the centre - it works almost as a series of stills from a motion picture, a montage of the same dancer in consecutive poses (Gomes Ferreira, op. cit., no. 6). Bernard sold the exclusive rights for the bronze of the present model to the Hébrard foundry, who cast at least five versions, one of which is in the private collection of Jean Bernard, the sculptor's son. The bronze was first presented at the Salon d'Automne in bronze in 1912. In a series of photographs of the sculptor's workshop, taken in the early years of the 20th century, the Danse des Roses in plaster is frequently visible in the background, showing its importance in the sculptor's oeuvre (see, for instance, Gomes Ferreira, op. cit., fig. 6). 

RELATED LITERATURE
R. Jullian, J. Bernard, L. Stoenesco and P. Grémont Gervais, Joseph Bernard, Fondation de Coubertin, 1989, p. 282, no. 78; M. T. Gomes Ferreira, Joseph Bernard 1866-1931, exh. cat. Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, 1992, pp. 32; 98-99, no. 6