Based off the original marble sculpture housed in the Louvre and entitled La Melodie, this large bronze statue of a woman holding a five-string lyre was a joint collaboration between two French sculptors, Adrien Étienne Gaudez and Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (whose chief assistant for six years was Auguste Rodin of The Thinker fame). The bronze has a vibrant multi-colored patination, with a loose-fitting burgundy dress draped over the woman’s gold skin. Her dress is pinned above the right shoulder and is full of movement, with various folds and gathered material below her waist. Our muse has thick, wavy (deep brown) hair as she leans against a gold colored pedestal adorned with a red-tinted classical motif.
A rectangular plinth with canted corners and cavetto molding beneath the pedestal is signed “A Gaudez”, while the base of the pedestal is signed “A. Carrier Belleuse Hors Concours”. Hors concours is a French term which means “standout”. The term is used for artwork that is excluded from competition because it has already claimed top honors elsewhere. Artists are sometimes still allowed to display their pieces and obtain a score from judges, but they are not eligible for any medals or prizes.
There is a multi-colored and larger stone plinth beneath the bronze plinth. The top edge has a cavetto molding and is black in color. A second black tier can be seen beneath a cream and gold row that has a brass placard reading “Carrier Belleuse”.
Both Gaudez and Carrier-Belleuse were well-respected sculptors, but Carrier-Belleuse is perhaps more renowned, having benefitted from a close association with Napoleon III. A founding member of the prestigious Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Carrier-Belleuse was born in 1824 in Anizy-le-Chateau, not too far from the Belgian border. Gaudez was born in 1845 in Lyon and often crafted large sculptures in bronze.
The statue weighs 85 lbs.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with minor rubs and fleabites. Light buildup in some areas. Please see photos for details.