French, fl. 1895-1925
Ariadne and the Corona Borealis
Dark-brown patinated bronze over verde marble on bronze rim | signed in base "G. Flamand"
Item # 303QST19Z
A very fine figure by Georges Flamand representing the tale of the Princess Ariadne of Crete and the birth of the Corona Borealis constellation. Her arms are raised to the heavens as she seems almost to be floating along through the clouds, perhaps lifting her eyes to her beloved, the god Dionysus as he finds her stranded on Naxos and falls instantly in love with her. Her head is adorned in a crown of stars, symbolic of the transformation from the original crown made by Hephaestus that was studded with jewels from India which turned into stars as Dionysus tossed it into the heavens. Those stars became the Corona Borealis, a crescent of stars located betwixt Boötes and Hercules.
Distinctly Art Nouveau in composition, Flamand captures Ariadne with such grace and a feather-light presence, like the slightest wind might take her away. Her timeless diaphonous garment clings to the curves of her body with only the slightest bands and threads holding the fabric together. The model was chosen by Flamand to incorporate lighting into as well in a different variation (see Burchard Galleries, St. Petersburg, Florida, 25 March 2018, lot 1014, achieved $ 5100 USD inc. premium). A master of the Art Nouveau aesthetic, Flamand's work remains highly sought-after. One notable example is his 13" x 18" patinated bronze wall plaque of a maiden kissing a ceramic face, which on 20 April 2011 achieved 27,500 GBP at Christie's, London (approximately $ 44,800 when converted to USD at the time of the sale).
Refined, sensitive, expertly cast and exceedingly well finished, the model is a very fine example of the period.
Measurements: 28" H (total with base); 25 3/4" H (bronze only); base dimensions 9" D x 9" W; bronze is 14 1/2" W at widest point.
Very fine original condition. Cleaned and sealed in conservator's grade wax. Ready to place.