Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Geefs brothers and the Evil Genius & Angel of Evil.

The Belgian cathedral 'St Paul' located in Liège is the home of a beautiful young man sculpted in white marble by Guillaume Geefs in 1848.

The sculpture was actually commissionned first to his brother Joseph (1808-1885), also a sculptor. He was asked to create a Lucifer, or Evil Genius. When the statue was set up in the cathedral, in 1843, the male body was judged very, very attractive, probably too much naked and not enough 'Evil' despite the snake near his feet and the bat wings.  See by yourself below.

So 5 years later, his brother Guillaume got the commission for another Lucifer. Joseph's one was removed after one year from the cathedral, and is currently visible in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, in Brussels. Below is the new version of Lucifer, sculpted by Guillaume Geefs.

To avoid the critics made to his brother, he emphasized the symbols of Lucifer, although the nudity is still very much present, with a slightly more muscular body. Guillaume Geefs (1805-1883) was the main sculptor working for Leopold I, selected king for the Belgium nation founded in 1830.

Photo E Huybrechts

Among the symbols and details, you can observe a pair of horns...

A single tear...

A broken sceptre ...

A chained foot, and an biten apple. 

Joseph Geefs

Guillaume Geefs
Egyptomusee blog

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The male sculptures of Bordeaux Girondins monument & fountains

The Girondins monument and double fountain in the center of Bordeaux (Quinconces) is filled with 34 bronze sculptures. You will discover here some of the male characters of this famous landmark, built between 1894 and 1902, and full of Republican symbols, by the architect Victor Rich, and the sculptors Alphonse Jean Dumilatre and Felix Charpentier.

The monument is dedicated to the 'Girondins' who died defending the Republican values, after the French Revolution, against the 'Montagnards'. For more details on the project history and context, see the links indicated at the end.

Photo Alain Barré
The fountain facing the Theatre shows the Republican victory. Among the figures, this blacksmith, looking toward the justice, and symbol of Work.

Photo Alain Barré
Next to him, two groups of three kids, one symbolizing the compulsory school, and the others the mandatory military service.

Photo Titou du Pian
Below, three male figures seem falling, they are the Ignorance (on the right), the Vice (center) and the Lie (on the left, with his mask), showing the obstacles for a society that want to enlighten his people, promoting education and knowledge.

Photo Alain Barré

On the other side, the fountain facing the gardens, called the 'Triomphe de la Concorde' (Peace victory) you can admire the Fraternity, illustrated by the company of a worker and a bourgeois, and other sculptures displaying happiness, and several kids (one with a sculptor hammer, one with a music instrument, one with a painting brush, another on a barrel, ...).


Bordeaux Découvertes
Sud Ouest
Mes grains de sel blog
Ma plume fee dans paris
Alain Barre

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Rene Lalique : archers & male athletes

Rene Lalique is a famous French glass designer, and jewellery designer. Several pieces are glass sculptures depicting male figures, on vases, doors, medallions, perfume bottles, and radiator caps for cars.

His exquisite jewellery was very much influenced by the the nature, fauna and flora, in the Art Nouveau style, like birds, insects like Dragonfly. He worked for Cartier and Boucheron. Later on, after the first war, he produced magnificent Art Deco large glass decoration, like for the Normandie luxury yacht (first class dining room), or the Orient Express train.

Orient Express panel (detail)
Athletes was one of his theme, as you can see on this 'Palestre' vase below done in 1928. In the biography from Félix Marcilhak (book cover on this post) you can read that Lalique wanted to express the beauty of these males, but also in the spirit of the Greeks, show their courage and wisdow.

He also created glass doors with athletes for the French clothes designer Jacques Doucet home in Paris.

And for the Wanamaker's store in Philadephia.

His passion was the glass. And to create beauty. Always with the highest quality. He had a workshop Place Vendome in Paris, created many glass objects for hospitals & drugstores (through a glass factory he transformed). He built his own glass factory in 1921 in Alsace (where the current Lalique Museum is located). This allowed him to distribute his creations to a larger audience, making them more affordable. He invented several techniques and process to work with glass, giving different finishes, or transparencies.
Lalique biography by Félix Marcilak
And linked to the athletes, you can admire a few pieces with archers as well, like on this radiator cap below from 1926.

Or on this vase from 1921, that was declined in several versions or colors, with archers looking for large birds.

For the International Exhibition in Paris, in 1937, with 44 countries participating, he created this medallion in glass, displaying 2 nude males holding their hands.

The year he died (1945) and was buried in the Paris Père Lachaise cemetery, his son started to work with cristal.

And it is with cristal that the Elton John Aids Foundation and Lalique worked together to raise funds, creating first a large lost wax original glass sculpture 'Angel' and some other pieces to be sold at a special auction in 2016, before to produce a limited serie available today.



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Chronos - Christophe Charbonnel

Yesterday, October 23, the bronze sculpture from Christophe Charbonnel named 'Chronos' was auctioned at Rennes Enchères (Me Jezequel).

The sculpture is numbered 2/4, was casted in 2006, and measure 108 x 24 x 30 cm.
The auction result is 23.400 euros.

Two other originals can be seen at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, and at the Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Resort.

We have previously posted other sculptures from this talented French sculptor. You can see it here.

Rennes Enchères
Galerie Bayart