Auguste Nicolas Cain 1821-1894
Born in Paris in 1821, Auguste-Nicolas Cain apprenticed initially with his father, a butcher. His shift to sculpture began with formal training under Alexandre Guionnet (active 1831-1853), an ornamental sculptor, then with François Rude (1784-1855) for an undetermined period before 1852. During the 1840s Cain provided models for the eminent Parisian jewelers Fannière Frères and, particularly, Frédéric-Jules Rudolphi (active 1841-c. 1867), for whom he designed decoration for poignards, paperweights, and walking sticks. He made his Salon debut in 1846 as an animalier with the small wax group, Warblers Defending Their Nest against a Dormouse . His subsequent submissions to the Salon were small-scale bronzes that he cast in the foundry of animalier Pierre-Jules Mêne (1810-1879). Cain’s association with the well-established Mêne proved of long and fruitful duration. He married Mêne’s daughter in 1852 and edited his own small-scale work in his father-in-law’s studio-foundry, which he took over, together with the family residence, upon Mêne’s death in 1879. Mêne’s widespread connections quickly brought Cain several important government commissions, beginning with a Brown Vulture Devouring a Serpent, the plaster model for which was commissioned by the Minister of the Interior in 1849, cast in bronze the following year by the founder Gonon, who then cast it in quadruplicate as supports for a colossal porphyry table for the Musée des Antiquités Egyptiennes at the Louvre.
Cain’s career as a monumental sculptor continued into and beyond the Second Empire, bringing him commissions for, among other things, reliefs to decorate an imperial kennel (1860-1863); a bronze Wild Vulture on the Head of a Sphinx, originally placed in the Jardin des Plantes (1864, now in a public square, Thann, France); and a Rhinoceros Attacked by Tigers for the Jardin des Tuileries (1874-1882). Beginning in the 1860s, he executed a notable series of monumental lions and tigers as garden and architectural decoration: a Family of Tigers shown in plaster in the Paris Universal Exposition of 1867 and commissioned in bronze that year for Central Park, New York (now Central Park Zoo); and a Lioness executed in quadruplicate after 1869 for entrances on the cour du Carrousel side of the Louvre.
Cain continued to exhibit regularly in the Salon until the year of his death, 1894. In 1869 he was awarded the Légion d’honneur and was named officer of that prestigious organization in 1882.Like Antoine-Louis Barye before him, Cain stands out in his generation for success as both a monumental sculptor and as founder of his own serial bronzes. Cain’s oeuvre reflects an equal concern for “high,” industrial, and decorative art; the artist sought to be represented in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs as well as in the Musée du Luxembourg, both in Paris. His prolific small-scale work displays a stylistic variety that is absent from the large-scale public projects, a difference that suggests a respect for artistic modes–high public work versus informal private objects. Cain’s monumental work aligns him closely with Barye in the majestic grandeur that accompanies it’s naturalism, whether the subjects are in repose or dramatically active. His prestigious commissions, variousness and productivity, and the sheer quality of Cain’s oeuvre enhanced the status of animalier work. Even with its acknowledged prominence by the 1850s, it remained a segregated and subordinate class within the professional hierarchy of sculptors.
Frederic Focht 1879-?
He was born in Paris on July 17 in 1879.
He studied under Falguière and exhibited at the Salon as artistes Françaises at the turn of the century.
He obtained the medal of honour in 1900.
He specialised in portrait busts f.e from the aviator Mermoz, and reliefs but also sculpted a number of war memorials in Lor and Carcassonne after the first World War.
He was also an opera singer of note.
Siméon Charles Joseph Foucault,
known as Siméon Foucault (born May 3, 1884 in Nantes – died August 26, 1923 in Paris) was a French sculptor, he was awarded the Grand Prix of Rome in 1912.
Admitted to the National School of Fine Arts in Paris in 1904, he was a pupil of Louis-Ernest Barrias and Jules Coutan.
A sculpture in bronze by Foucault was show at the international Exhibition in Paris in the Fench Embassy Pavilion of the Société des Arts. Bust of a Faun.
Maurice Guiraud Rivière (1881 – 1947)
He was born in Toulouse France. became a member of the Salon where he exhibited his works during the 1920’s and 1930’s. At the age of 15 he was a sailor and at 20 he became and actor.
His sculpting career started in Paris when he studied at the Paris Ecole Nationale Beaux Arts where he studied under Antonin Mercier.
He exhibited at the Salons during the 1920s and 30s. He worked in many mediums, producing paintings and drawings for magazines at that time. His bronzes were produced by Etling et Cie & Les Neveux de Lehmann.
His ceramic pieces were produced by Sèvres and he also designed items for the Robj company.
He sold several pieces to the French State for the City of Paris in 1926.
This included Enigma, one of his most famous pieces. Other sculptures on our website.
Pierre Le Faguays, 1892 – 1962.
Pierre le Faguays was born in Nantes, he studied under Vibert at the École des Beaux-Arts in Geneva,
He was a French sculptor of elegant female figures, dancers, monuments, ceramics and figurative lamps, working in a pure Art Deco style.
Pierre Le Faguays captured public attention with his early exhibitions of exuberant dancing figures. He took part in his first exhibition at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français in 1922 where he received an honorable mention in 1926 and another honorable mention in the Sculpture section, in 1927.He used 2 pseudonyms as well as his own name; Fayral on his art metal pieces and Pierre Laurel on some of his bronze sculptures.Fayral was a family name, his wife was Raymonde Guerbe and many of her art metal sculptures were also produced by the Le Verrier foundry. Le Faguays was a leading sculptor and his work is frequently praised for its high quality and attention to anatomical accuracy. He most often worked on a live model, that results in very dynamic sculpture of women in motion with Marcel Bouraine, he also produced designs for Goldscheider in Paris under the ‘La Stele’ label.He worked in several mediums including bronze, spelter, ivory, stone, wood, alabaster and ceramics. Le Faguays studied with his friend Max Le Verrier and was a good friend of Marcel Bouraine.The Le Verrier foundry produced many of the Le Faguays statues in art metal.All three had studied together at the Beaux Arts in Geneva and remained life-long friends. After the Second World War, he found himself painter on the Place du Tertre in Montmartre.
Pierre Le Faguays died in 1962.
Paul Philippe 1870 ~ 1930
Born in Thorn in Poland, He became a pupil of Antonin Larroux when he moved to Paris. He exhibited with success at all the French salons. Philippe worked in both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles; working in bronze, bronze and ivory and pure ivory his figures are sought after worldwide by collectors. Amongst his most recognised works are ‘Le Reveil’ – the Awakening, Ballet Dancer and ‘Radha’.
Irénée René Rochard 1906 ~ 1984
Born in Villefranche sur Saône in 1906, his mother was a painter and his brother was the actor-singer Armand Mestral. Rochard chose the course of an artist’s life and turned to animal sculpture in order, as he used to say “pay tribute to animals”. On leaving the École des Beaux-Arts at the age of 22, he won first prize for a life-size panther sculpture and many other prizes and awards followed throughout his career. In the 1920’s Rochard frequently met with other animal sculptors, including François Pompon and Edouard Sandoz.