HENRI LEVASSEUR (FRENCH, 1853-1934) BRONZE GROUP OF WORKING MEN
Signed H. Levasseur, stamped cachet of Société des Bronzes and Fonderie de Vincennes
Item # 807GQS18Z
An exceedingly fine work of art from the first quarter of the 20th century, this large and complicated bronze group captures two men combining their might behind a lever to move earth and rock. The modeling is exquisite with perfect anatomical proportions and muscle movement. The finishing of the surface is made alive with rich acid patinas ranging from blacks to browns to warm red undertones, all burnished under beeswax for a glowing sheen. The skill of Levasseur is fully expressed in this careful blend of Art Deco modernism in a highly technical scene of realism. His crisp signature is cast in the naturalistic base and the back of the base bears the cachet of both Societe des Bronzes of Paris and Fonderie de Vincennes.
Born in Paris April 16th, 1853, Henri Louis Levasseur studied extensively under Eugene Delaplanche and Emile Thomas. He began exhibiting at the Salon des Artistes Francais in 1881, quickly being noticed as an exceptional sculpture when he received distinction during the exhibit of 1882, receiving third-place medal in 1885, a second-place medal in 1888, awarded at the Exposition Universelle with bronze in 1889, a first-class medal in 1898 and silver medal at the 1900 Exposition Universelle where he presented a Jeanne d'Arcin bronze, silver, gold, fine pearls and rubies. His works were cast extensively by Societe des Bronzes of Paris, less frequently by Siot-Decauville and also by Thiebaut.
Further Reading and Notes:
- Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century, Dictionary of Sculptors, Kjellberg, p. 437-8 [biographical and foundry notes]
- Benezit, Dictionary of Artists, vol. VIII, Grund, p. 923 [biographical and noteworthy sales information]
- Bronzes: Sculptors & Founders, Berman [large body of work represented in all four volumes; present example not recorded]
- Société des Bronzes Paris, Catalog [showing a large body of his work available for sale by the Société]
- Art Deco and Other Figures, Bryan Catley, 1978, p. 204-205 [eight works represented, present work not included]
Measurements: 14” W x 19” D x 25 1/4” H
Very minor handling wear to original patina. Remaining in exceptional original condition.