PAUL EUGENE MENGIN (FRENCH, 1853-1937) GILDED BRONZE SCULPTURE OF MIGNON WITH MANDOLIN
Sealed verso w/ Susse Freres Editeurs Paris foundry mark, signed in base P. Mengin
Item # 602IRP29
Paul Eugéne Mengin studied under Dumont and Millet and first began exhibiting at Salon in 1873, receiving honourable mention in 1877 and third-class in 185, a travel scholarship in 1875 and bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1900. A large body of his work was produced by the Susse Freres foundry, the present example included. Generally titled as “Mignon” or “La Femme a la Mandoline”, the large and impressive sculpture captures a young seated female Mignon in her flowing garment with a mandolin grasped loosely against her bent knee. She rests on a rocky outcrop upon which roots and foliage are impressionistically growing around all sides, the back of the naturalistic base impressed with the Susse Freres seal and the edge with his signature. Her features are gorgeous, the finely chiseled facial details revealing a tired expression of a young woman in need of a moment’s rest. The surfaces of the skin are perfectly smooth and cast with excellence. The gilded patina is a complex finish with a wonderful variation from browns and darkened bronze hues to burnished bronze and gold accents. A most moving work that is large without dominating a setting, it is a deep and emotional work of art emphasized by technical precision in the casting. A very fine acquisition for serious collectors of fine Romantic period French sculpture.
Literature and References:
- "Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century, Dictionary of Artists”, Kjellberg, p. 487
- "E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol IX", Gründ, p. 766 [noting auction records of 29,000 DKK, 2,600 GBP, 13,500 DKK and 22,000 DKK for four editions of this sculpture]
- Dallas Auction Gallery, January 3rd 2008, lot 157, 29” H w/ brown patination, achieved $5,500 plus 22.5% premium
Measurements: [figure] 20 1/2” H x 9 1/4” D approx. x 11” W approx. [total] 21 1/2” H
Original gilded patina, light surface wear/discoloration and patina loss. Some dust in crevices. Excellent presentation ready condition. Marble beneath sculpture is added and can easily be removed.