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silla was born out of a passion for beautiful objects: special pieces with aesthetic and historical significance. In 2009, after years of collecting, Andrew Silla and his wife Grace began to work privately with clients from their residence in Southern Maryland. Quickly outgrowing the space, the business was moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania in 2012 and after several warehouse location changes it was firmly settled in the present brick-and-mortar location in downtown Shippensburg.

The 9000 square foot brick-and-mortar gallery is home to a large collection of works of art and estate jewelry. We specialize in sculpture circa 1860 through 1930 with a particular emphasis on the Animaliers and as such the gallery always has a very large collection of exceptional European and American sculpture available on display.

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"Lutte pour la Vie" | Edouard Drouot, 24"

Drouot, Edouard

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French, 1859-1945

"Lutte pour la vie" [A fight to survive]

Patinated and polychromed bronze on verde marble | signed "E. Drouot" | cast circa 1920

Item # 311GTN28A 

A very good casting of Drouot's Lutte pour la Vie, also known in some literature as Ésclave Combattant un Tigre, it depicts a young man in a desperate fight for survival against an unleashed tiger. It is a terrifying scene with a palpable tension between the two figures, the tiger leaping over this rocky grouping and grasping the young man's leg. While left with only a log in his hands to defend himself, the man is not deprived of spirit, daring and grit: he stares the tiger firmly in the eyes, leaning into the fight and not stepping away.

One of Drouot's most successful and popular works, it captures both the human form and the animal spirit so effectively that the viewer is unavoidably impacted by the overwhelming dread of the moment. The philosophical parallels between this model and his works on labor are tangible, an existential expression of a mortal man doomed to tragedy finding very real meaning in grit, self-reliance, hard work, determination and courage.

The present example is a good large model with a finely chiseled surface throughout, the bronze finished in a brighter chemical patina on the man that was augmented with a (likely) laquered stain top coat that has mostly worn away other than in the recesses, the chaotic golden-and-medium-brown patina of the tiger, and the dark brown with underlying reddish and golden hues in the naturalistic base. The model has been sealed in conservator's grade wax and glows brilliantly. It is signed in the base "E. Drouot" in his typical script.

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. His 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: 24" H x 7 7/8" D x 11" W

Condition Report:
Rubbing to the patina throughout the male figure with remnants of a top layer pigment/stain patina in recesses, this having been cleaned away to reveal the chemical patina below; otherwise untouched patina in very good condition; carefully cleaned and sealed in conservator's grade wax; a fine presentation; raised on original verde marble base with large chip to one corner.