9637 ARTHUR LE DUC (1848-1918)
Base: W 91 cm x D 28 cm
Overall Height: 82 cm
A life-sized finely modelled figure of a fawn, one foot raised and looking to his right with original rich brown patination and with the foundry signature of THIEBAUT FRERES Fondeurs. Signed and dated Ar.Le Duc 1889.
A cast from the monumental bronze group, Harde de cerfs écoutant le rapproché.
The plaster group exhibited at the Paris Salon, 1885, and the bronze version commissioned by the National Museums and displayed at the entrance terrace of the Dome des Beaux Arts during the Paris Exhibition 1889, subsequently moved to the Musee du Luxembourg in November 1889.
The date of our figure, 1889, indicates that this cast would have been made to coincide with the Paris Exposition Universelle and possibly displayed at Theibaut Freres stand in the Galerie de 30 metres sculpture gallery. Centering on the Eiffel Tower, this vast exhibition attracted more than 32 million visitors and would have been the ideal showcase for all forms of the decorative and industrial arts.
Le Duc exhibited five sculptures inside the Galerie des Beaux Arts including a standing stag, Le Millieme Cerf of 1884 from the collection of the Marques de Chambray which seems to have been the inspiration for the larger, family group. He was awarded a Silver medal for Centaure et Bacchante, the 1883 bronze group from the Musee de Caen. Thiebaut Freres were significant exhibitors in the Art Bronze section as well as having their own stand in the Galerie de 30 metres where they showed monumental casts from Versailles, the Hotel de Ville, Paris as well as contemporary French works. Joseph Thiebaut was a jury member and secretary of the Art Bronze and metalwork committee for the Expostion Universelle.
Arthur Le Duc 1848-1918
Le Duc was born in Torigni-sur-Vire in the Calvados region of Normandy in 1848.
He studied sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Caen , his studies being broken with the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870.
in 1872 he moved to Paris where he worked in the studio of Bayre Fils and exhibited at the Paris Salons between 1878-1914, winning silver medals for sculpture in 1889 and 1900, both years of the Paris Exposition.
Le Duc was a prolific monumental sculptor with much of his work in Normandy and Caen in particular. Unfortunately, during WWII, many works were melted down by German order, or damaged by Allied bombing in 1944 in preparation for the Normandy landings.
Le Duc’s most well known work and his only monumental work remaining in Paris is Harde de Cerfs, a life size bronze group standing at 2.2 m from the collection of Musee D’Orsay and now returned for display in the Luxembourg Gardens where it was originally displayed in 1889 at the closure of the Exposition Universelle.