Isidore-Jules Bonheur (1827 - 1901)


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Isidore-Jules Bonheur (1827 - 1901)

‘Le Grand Jockey ‘

France, Circa 1902.

REF No. B76870

Signed 'I Bonheur' and with foundry stamp PEYROL EDITEUR'.

dimensions

Height :62 cm | 24³/₈ in
Width :75 cm | 29¹/₂ in
Depth :16 cm | 6¹/₄ in

description

Isidore Jules Bonheur (FRENCH, 1827-1901)
‘Le Grand Jockey ‘

Signed 'I Bonheur' and with foundry stamp PEYROL EDITEUR'.
Bronze, rich mid-brown patina.

The name Isidore-Jules Bonheur is synonymous with the great animalier school of sculptors of the late 19th century.   Amongst Bonheur’s wide variety of animal sculptures exhibited at the Salon, there were a number of mounted equestrian models, including three designs of jockeys on horseback shown in 1864, 1879 and 1886. The most famous of these is Le Grand Jockey, of which the present cast is a rare, large, and fine example.

It shows a victorious jockey patting his horse on the neck in congratulation, perfectly chiseled especially with precision work for the veins, tendons and muscles, as well as the rider's jacket and the horse's mane.   First exhibited at the 1879 Salon in bronze, under the title ‘Un Jockey’, it was displayed alongside another equestrian group, Un cavalier, époque de Louis XV (nos. 4817 and 4816 respectively).  Exhibited again four years later at the Exposition Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1883 and for the third time at the Universal Exhibition of 1889, where Bonheur received the prestigious Medaille d'Or.  Le Grand Jockey was subsequently edited in four different sizes, the present cast being an example of the second largest.

Son of the painter Raymond Bonheur and brother of Rosa Bonheur, Isidore Bonheur was born in 1827 in  Bordeaux and trained with his father. He exhibited in 1848 for the first time at the Salon des Artistes Français and entered the School of Fine Arts in Paris where he turned his attention to sculpture.

Bonheur had a close working relationship with his brother-in-law, the celebrated Parisian founder Hippolyte Peyrol, who was married to his sister Juliette (1830-1891). These close ties resulted in the production of exceptionally cast and finely chased bronzes, often identified, as here, by Peyrol's tiny cachet. Peyrol was a master caster and his foundry in Paris is rightly considered one of the finest of the period.

France, Circa 1890.


 

literature

S. Lami, ‘Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l’école française du XIXe siècle’, vol. 1, Paris, 1916, pp.127-130; J. Horswell, ‘Les Animaliers’, Woodbridge, 1971, p. 209; M. Forrest, Art Bronzes, Pennsylvania, 1988, p. 227.
M. Forrest, ‘Art Bronzes’, Pennsylvania, 1988, p. 227.
Pierre Kjellberg, ‘Les Bronzes du XIX e siècle’, Dictionnaire
des Sculpteurs, Paris 1987, l’Amateur Ed. Pages 102 et
103.

Isidore-Jules Bonheur

‘Le Grand Jockey ‘







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