"Taureau", bronze sculpture | Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822-99)
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BRONZE SCULPTURE OF “TAUREAU” BY ROSA BONHEUR
Signed in base “Rosa B”, cast by Peyrol but unmarked; modeled circa 1846
Item # 912EFC05A
A rare and fine sculpture that is extensively documented in the relatively small body of Rosa Bonheur’s work in bronze, the model captures a Striding Bull over a naturalistic base. A treacherous and powerful animal, he is portrayed as a lean and dominating figure, a certain majestic quality captured in his confident march. An anatomically exacting model, the bull is proportionally and structurally precise with a level of surface detail that is quite moving. His thin and sleek coat is taught as it moves over muscles, tendons and large bone structure. He is situated over a naturalistic rocky base signed in a crisp flowing hand “Rosa B”.
The quality of the patina is self-evident with a translucent glowing surface rich with browns and blacks. It is unmarked but, in light of the highly distinctive construction technique, was almost certainly cast by her brother-in-law, Hippolyte Peyrol.
Remaining in exceptional original condition, it is an exquisite museum quality acquisition.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art, acc. no. 52.126.1
- Art Bronzes, Michael Forrest, 1988, p. 204, f. 3.118 [present example represented w/ 6” documented height]
- The Animaliers, James Mackay, 1973, p.48 [present example, “Bull”, 6” documented height]
- Bronze Sculpture of “Les Animaliers”, Jane Horswell, 1971, p. 179 [present example, 6 1/2” documented height]
- Animals in Bronze, Christopher Payne, 1986, p. 174, f. Catl.19 [present example, “Peyrol version recorded as 18 cm (7ins.)”]
- Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century: Dictionary of Sculptors, Pierre Kjellberg, 1994, p. 106-107 [notes on “Taureau” include original dimensions from the May 30 1900 sales catalog after Bonheur’s death, noting Taureau’s intended dimensions at 16 x 24 cm; further notes record three sales of Taureau where it measures 17 cm in height]
- Sotheby's, New York, Sale N08496, December 5 2008, achieved $ 7000 USD
Measurements: 6 1/8" H x 11 1/2" W x 10 3/4" W [base only] x 4 1/4" D [base only]
Minor wear around base edges. Original patina, exceptional original condition.