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Île-de-France (Jeune fille qui marche dans l'eau)
Vendido

Sobre el objeto

Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)\n\nÎle-de-France (Jeune fille qui marche dans l'eau)\n\nsigned with the monogram 'M' (at the back of the base), with the foundry mark and numbered 'E. GODARD Fondeur PARis 3/6' (on the back of the base)\n\nbronze with green patina\n\nHeight: 57 in. (144.8 cm.)\n\nConceived in 1925, this work cast in 2003 in an edition of six plus four artist's proofs
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notes

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

The late Dina Vierny confirmed the authenticity of this work.

‘I don’t want to make the real. I want to make the true’ (Maillol, quoted in D. Vierny, ‘Maillol and Modernity’, trans. R. Pincus-Witten, Aristide Maillol: Sculpture, exh. cat., New York, 1997, n.p.).

Conceived in 1925, Aristide Maillol’s monumental sculpture Île-de-France is an elegant personification of the lush, rich landscape of the region surrounding Paris, bound by the Seine and its tributaries. Radiating grace and serenity, Maillol casts this allegorical figure as a young bather, using the beautiful nude body to express a sense of the idyllic way of life that could be found there. Like Renoir in the 1880s, Maillol studiously focused on the female form, reinterpreting the classical tradition of the nude bather in his own idiosyncratic manner. Having first explored the subject in his paintings, Maillol turned to a more dramatic expression of the theme in his monumental sculptures of the early twentieth-century, culminating in his mature visions of nude females during the 1920s and 30s. In Île-de-France, Maillol creates an eternal expression of the young, voluptuous bather, as she appears to wade through shallow water, her arms pulled behind her torso as she grasps a small, light towel between her two hands. Lifting her chest up, Maillol introduces a gentle concave curve to her back, elongating her profile and imbuing her figure with a greater sense of energy and momentum.

With her smooth curves and elegantly composed form, Île-de-France exemplifies the radical purity which defined Maillol’s mature aesthetic, as he sought to simplify the female body to a pure celebration of its formal qualities. Turning away from the expressive portrait that characterised the art of his contemporary Rodin, Maillol sought a more abstract, idealized vision that focused purely on the architecture of the female body. The beauty of the present work lies in this simplicity, its clear, concise forms and sense of composure generating an impression of a timeless expression of female beauty. As the artist explained, ‘The figure mustn’t be a woman of flesh and blood. When doing this sort of thing, one has to place oneself outside of time. It’s got to be eternal…’ (Maillol, quoted in B. Lorquin, Maillol, London, 1995, p. 93). In this way, Maillol taps into a deeper and therefore more elemental form of representation, pushing his sculpture to the edge of abstraction to transform his model into an idealised, archetypal representation of Woman.

Despite the fact that figure in Île-de-France is captured in motion, slowly walking through the water, there is a sense of stability and permanence in her stance, which negates the impression of an instantaneous movement captured spontaneously by the artist. Indeed, the composition was the result of years of careful observation and reworking, as its lines and posture were revised hundreds of times before Maillol reached a figure he was happy with. The sculptor was a keen observer of the human anatomy, analytically studying the pose and form of not only his models, but also classical sculpture. From these sources, Maillol distilled his figures down to the pure essence of their forms, simplifying their contours to create a concise, measured balance of mass and void, derived solely from his own imagination. Although the majority of his sculptures exude an intense stillness, Maillol was also equally fascinated by the figure in motion, observing that when movement is rendered ‘with too much emphasis, it becomes frozen; it is no longer life. The immobility that an artist creates is not at all the same as the stillness of photography. An artwork contains a latent life, potential movement’ (Maillol, quoted in B. Lorquin, Maillol, London, 1995, p. 96). Île-de-France perfectly encapsulates this sentiment, containing an intensity and energy within her form that seems to suggest that at any moment she might lift her left leg and step into our world.

As with many of Maillol’s sculpture, Île-de-France was preceded by a number of preliminary versions, beginning life as a study for a torso. Maillol typically started his sculptures with this portion of the body, only adding limbs and a head when he was satisfied with the balance of the body’s core element. Fine-tuning the posing of his figures as he went along, the artist regularly changed the positioning of arms and legs from version to version, comparing the differing effects in each iteration. Only in 1925 did Maillol feel it necessary to add the extremities to create the final Île-de-France, and as such the present work may perhaps be best understood as an augmentation rather than a completion of his earlier studies. The present cast holds an illustrious provenance, having originally formed part of the artist’s own private collection following its casting. Upon his death, it passed through the artist’s family to Dina Vierny, the artist’s model and muse in the final years of his life. The work was acquired directly from Vierny by the present owner, and has never before been seen at auction.

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

title

Île-de-France (Jeune fille qui marche dans l'eau)

signed

signed with the monogram 'M' (at the back of the base), with the foundry mark and numbered 'E. GODARD Fondeur PARis 3/6' (on the back of the base)

creator

Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)

literature

J. Rewald, Maillol, Paris, 1939, p. 165 (the plaster version illustrated pl. 67).

W. George, Aristide Maillol, London, 1965, p. 180 (the marble version illustrated in the artist's studio p. 125).

B. Lorquin, Aristide Maillol, Geneva, 1994 (the marble version illustrated in the artist's studio n.p.).

B. Lorquin, Aristide Maillol, Paris, 2002, p. 198 (the marble version illustrated p. 177).

lot_number

441

provenance

Dina Vierny, Paris.

Acquired from the above by the present owner in June 2006.


*Tenga en cuenta que el precio no se recalcula al valor actual, es el precio final real en el momento que fue vendido.

*Tenga en cuenta que el precio no se recalcula al valor actual, es el precio final real en el momento que fue vendido.


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