A Magnificent and Large Pair of Bronze Figural Candelabra
‘Deux Femmes Debout - porte-lumières, Style Renaissance’ A Large Pair of Gilt and Patinated Bronze Figural Torchères, Cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne,...
DimensionsHeight: 261 cm (103 in)
Width: 50 cm (20 in)
Depth: 65 cm (26 in)
‘Deux Femmes Debout – porte-lumières, Style Renaissance’
A Large Pair of Gilt and Patinated Bronze Figural Torchères, Cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne, Paris, From the Models by Alexandre Falguière and Paul Dubois.
Signed ‘FALGUIERE’ and ‘P. DUBOIS’ respectively and inscribed ‘F. BARBEDIENNE. FONDEUR’.
Barbedienne illustrates a drawing of this pair of torcheres on page 63 of his 1886 catalogue ‘Bronzes D’ Art’. He lists them under the heading ‘Deux Femmes Debout’ and describes them as ‘Porte-Lumières, style Renaissance’ also indicating that they were modelled by Paul Dubois and Falguière.
This model of candelabra was exhibited by Barbedienne at the 1867 Exposition Universelle and subsequently installed at the Château de Compiègne as part of the refurbishment undertaken by Napoléon III and Empress Eugénie.
France, Circa 1870.
Paul Dubois (1827-1905) entered L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1858. He exhibited at the 1865 Salon the Chanteur Florentin, inspired by his period of study in Italy and later exhibited this model at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867 (now preserved at the Musée d’Orsay). His success brought him many important public and private commissions including a portrait for the Duc d’Aumale and a statue of Joan of Arc at Reims. He was appointed curator at the Luxembourg Museum in 1873 and went on to become Director of the L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1878.
Alexandre Falguière studied under Jouffroy at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, exhibiting for the first time at the salon in 1857. He won the Prix de Rome in 1859 and continued to find extraordinary success at the International Exhibitions of the period including the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867 where he won a first class medal. He was awarded the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur in 1870. As well as private commissions he undertook a number of important commissions for the French state. In 1878 he was asked by the state to realise the Triomphe de la République, placed in 1881 at the summit of the Arc de Triomphe (taken down in 1886). His most important international work was the Lafayette monument in Washington D.C.
France, Circa 1870.
Height of Pedestal: 67 cm
Height of Figures: 194 cm
Total Height: 261 cm
Gilt and Patinated Bronze
Signed ‘FALGUIERE’ and ‘P. DUBOIS’ respectively and inscribed ‘F. BARBEDIENNE. FONDEUR’
Ferdinand Barbedienne (6 August 1810 – 21 March 1892) was a French metalworker and manufacturer, who was well known as a bronze founder.
The son of a small farmer from Calvados, he started his career as a dealer in wallpaper in Paris. In 1838 he went into partnership with Achille Collas (1795-1859), who had just invented a machine to create miniature bronze replicas of statues. Together they started a business selling miniatures of antique statues from museums all over Europe, thus democratising art and making it more accessible to households. From 1843 they extended their scope by reproducing the work of living artists and also diversified by making enamelled household objects. With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 the firm briefly had to switch to cannon founding owing to the shortage of metals but resumed business afterwards. Following Barbedienne’s death in 1892, he was buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery and the firm was carried on by his nephew Gustave Leblanc until 1952.
Among the principal artists reproduced by the firm were Antoine Louis Barye and Auguste Rodin.
Kjellberg, Pierre. Les Bronzes du XIX siècle, Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs, Les Editions de l’Amateur, (Paris); pps.653-658.
Cooper, Jeremy. 19th Century Romantic Bronzes, pps. 25,41,149