"Decrotteur Arabe" [Arab Shoeshine Boy]
Patinated and polychromed bronze | signed to the reverse "E. Drouot" in script, sealed with editeur cachet for "Bronze Garanti au Titre, Paris"
Item # 311CSG30P-10
An attractive cabinet bronze after the model by Edouard Drouot titled on the edge of the base "Décrotteur Arabe, Médaille, Beaux-Arts", it is an interesting study of a young Arab boy with a shoe polish kit hanging from his shoulder. He leans against an old tree stump with a broad grin on his face, presumably greeting pedestrians while trying to drum up some business. It is finished in a rich polychromed patina ranging from the warm hues of brown and golden hints of burnished bronze to the red-oxide chemical patination supplemented by stains and cold-painted red in his cap. The base bears the editeur cachet "Bronze Garanti au Titre, Paris".
We may still have one other example of this sculpture available in the shop inventory. Browse our full collection or contact us for availability of the other cast.
These French Orientalist studies of the Arab and African nations found a large collecting audience in France and England. There was a fascination with what seemed like a timeless and unchanging traditionalism in these non-Western communities that piqued the nostalgia of collectors. The same sentiment that drove collectors to acquire landscape scenes of rural farms and buccolic views of domestic animals in fields gave a deep well for artists like Edouard Drouot to draw upon in preparing studies of the tribal communities of "The Orient". Much of the original material came from travel in Tunisia, which was easily accessible as a French colony and a favorite destination for painters and sculptors.
We have many of these wonderful models by Marcel Debut, Jean Didier Debut, Edouard Drouot, Emile Pinedo and Louis Hiolin available, all of roughly the same size and sealed by the same editeur.
Born in Sommevoire in the Haut Marne region of France on 3rd April 1859, Edouard Drouot spent his early his career as a successful genre painter. He studied sculpture under the renowned Mathurin Moreau (French, 1822-1912) at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and Emile Thomas (French, 1817-1882), a prominent sculptor responsible for numerous state commissions while producing portraits, monuments, allegorical and mythological works in marble and bronze. In 1882 he made his debut at the Paris Salons (Salon des Artistes Français).
He had varied interests and cannot really be tied to a specific style or theme in his work; this malleability an ability to tell a story in a multitude of styles was perhaps his greatest strength. From Art Deco studies of labor to mythological depictions in the Romantic taste, from trying his hand at animalier subjects to wonderfully fluid Art Nouveau studies of allegory, Drouot produced a large body of very successful work. His comfort level was clearly in sculpting the human form, though his Animalier subjects are admirable and he incorporated animals in a few of his works, perhaps most convincingly in his dramatic group of Ésclave Combattant un Tigre. These North African and Middle Eastern subjects are almost without exception passionate and wild works, exotic and full of action. He further produced a series of North American Indian subjects.
It is however by his mastery of the allegorical figures that he is best known and appreciated. These are distinguished by a sense of movement and expression that is always dramatic, particularly evident in his Salon exhibit of Printemps in 1897, L’Echo with its swirling drapery or his passionate Allegory of Dusk. In 1892 he was awarded third-class medal at Salon and achieved honorable mention at the Exposition Universelle in Paris of 1900 for L'Amateur. He continued to exhibit well into the 20th century, presenting L'Eveil du Printemps in 1906 and Andromache in 1912. Edouard Drouot died in Paris in 1945.
Measurements: 13 1/8" H x 3 3/4" W x 4 1/2" D
Garment with numerous points of rubbing wear and patina loss from handling/cleaning over the decades; some scuffing and wear around the edges of the base; other minor rubbing loss. Cleaned, waxed and polished, in fine presentation-ready condition.