FRANCOIS AUGUSTE HIPPOLYTE PEYROL (FRENCH, 1856-1929)
A model of a laborer studying a book, signed “H. Peyrol” on base, impressed “PEYROL” on edge of octagonal base
Item # 602XPZ29Q
This is such a moving piece, a captured moment of labor working to improve his lot. The young man appears to be either a foundry worker or miner in his early twenties, taking a mid-day break with his shovel sunk into the hard soil while he reads through the worn pages of the small book in hand. The patina is complex, a variation of nearly blackened acid patination, dark browns and rubbed highlights of a warmer bronze. The surface is perfectly cast, the skin and garment flawless and without even a hint of surface pitting; the features are perfectly chased and filed, his face particularly sharp and crisp while the rest of the sculpture borrows a gentle impressionism. He stands over a naturalistic base signed at the front left corner “H. Peyrol”, while the edge of the base has a faint and very tiny stamp of “Peyrol”.
This stamp notes it as being cast in the foundry started and operated by Francois Peyrol's father, Hippolyte Peyrol, brother-in-law of Rosa and Isidore Bonheur. Works of the Peyrol foundry are almost without exception very fine castings with exquisite patina and chiseling work, the present example being no exception. Hippolyte Peyrol was a student of Antoine-Louis Barye and started his foundry at 14 Rue de Crussol in Paris where he became the primary caster of works for artists in the family. He married Juliette Bonheur, sister of Isidore and Rosa Bonheur and had a son, Francois Auguste Hippolyte Peyrol, born in 1856. Francois studied under Isidore Bonheur as well as Tabard and Frenne, first exhibiting at Salon in 1880. He was awarded honorable mention at the Salon des Artistes Francais in 1883, 1886 and 1892, achieving a second-class metal in 1892 and first class in 1894. In 1908 he was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur. Much of his work was focused around animal subjects.
Literature and References: “Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century, Dictionary of Sculptors”, Kjellberg, p. 662, p. 541; “E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists”, Gründ, vol. X, p. 1294;
Measurements: 15 1/2” H x 5 3/8” D x 5 3/8” W
Exceptional condition - light patina loss to right forearm, left wrist and hand, very minor wear to left knee and shaft of shovel. Other very light handling wear to the original patina, this preserved under wax with a gorgeous glowing finish.