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"Comedy & Tragedy" | Eugene Laurent

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French, 1832-1898

"Comedy & Tragedy"

Patinated bronze on original black marble bases | Unsigned, cast circa 1885

Item # 211PPA29S 

A rare and exceptional pair of bronze busts by Eugene Laurent, both are unsigned but the pair are catalogued with signatures in Berman's reference work. The casting quality is above reproach, each exquisitely finished with vivid detailing and extensive cold-tooling of the surfaces. Each is finished in a nuanced medium-brown chemical patination augmented by pigmented stains, some of which has worn away to create a complex and varied surface throughout. Both rest over their original black marble socles, these incised and gilt-highlighted to read "Comedy" and "Tragedy".

A most interesting juxtaposition of profiles, they are a deeply moving and most powerful pair of busts.

Literature & Further Reading:

  • "Bronzes: Sculptors and Founders, 1800-1930, Vol. IV", Harold Berman, 1980, pl. 3817-3818, p. 989 [noted at 12" height]

Measurements: [Comedy] 17 1/2" H (with base), bronze only is 12 3/4" H x 3 3/8" D x 9 1/2" W; [Tragedy] 16 3/4" H (with base), bronze only is 11 7/8" H x 8 1/2" W x 3 3/8" D

Condition Report: Original black marble bases with extensive chipping and losses around the edges - many of these have been polished down. Comedy's left shoulder repatinated (evident in the subtle underlying difference in the hue of the skin). Comedy has an ever-so-slightly loose bit of hair where it wiggles faintly on the hidden roman joint inside the body - we could wedge this upon request, but it is for the most part non-noteworthy. Both figures carefully cleaned and polished. Light wear to patina of both figures throughout resulting in variation of hues in flesh-tones throughout; trace patina wear to raised elements from handling.