“Winner of the Cockfight”, bronze sculpture | Jean-Alexandre Falguiére & Thiebaut
“LA VAINQUER AU COMBAT DE COQS” BY JEAN-ALEXANDRE JOSEPH FALGUIERE
With early plaque reading "A Monsieur CANY ses Camerades, 1854-1904"; signed in base A. Falguiére with cachet of Thiebaut Freres
Item # 809SSP15Z
Arguably one of the most critical sculptures to launching his career, Falguiére’s work “The WInner of the Cockfight” was reminiscent in motion and form by the circa 1564 sculpture of “Mercure" by Italian sculptor Jean de Bologne. Falguiére sculpted the model originally in 1864 as a greater than life-size presentation work and presented it as his debut at the Salon where it achieved a medal and was considered by critics to be a masterpiece of elegance and grace. In response to the exhibit, critic Paul de Saint-Victor wrote that it was “One of the most successful debuts in memory”. It was exhibited again in 1867 at the Exposition Universelle where it won a first class medal and finally at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris. The Louvre in Paris acquired it for its collection and Falguiére returned to Paris with a firmly established reputation and no shortage of public commissions. The original model was sculpted by Falguiére nude, but when Thiebaut Freres produced the reductions of this edition they clothed the figure to make him more suitable for the retail market. An exceptionally well cast piece, special care had to be shown in the construction to allow for durability with all weight balanced on a single foot - to achieve this, Thiebaut cast the standing foot integral with the base and brought the rest of the leg through the base with a wedged anchor under the base, reducing torque on the joint of the toes. It is raised over an original shaped rouge marble base with a presentation plaque.
Literature & Further Reading
- Bronzes: Sculptors and Founders 1800-1930, Vol. I, Harold Berman, f. 718 [present example, cast by Thiebaut Freres]
- Art Bronzes, Michael Forrest, f. 2.243-2.245 [present example]
- Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century: Dictionary of Sculptors, Pierre Kjellberg, p. 310-311
- E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Gründ, Vol. V, 2006, p. 437-8
Measurements: 22 3/4” H [figure] x 25 1/8” H [total] x approx. 16” W x 7 7/8” D
Cleaned and waxed, in gorgeous presentation ready condition. Minor patina flaws including old surface discolorations, scuffs on thigh and knee of outstretched leg, a discoloration to the left side of his back (when facing the sculpture from the back), minor discolorations to the marble.