Felix Benneteau – Degrois, born in 1879
Sculptor. Busts, monuments,
Félix Benneteau-Desgrois was a pupil of Jean Falguière,
Marius Mercié and Denis Puech at the École des Beaux-Arts.
A winner of the Prix de Rome in 1909, he exhibited with the
Salon des Artistes Français from 1895, and was awarded a bronze medal in 1923. He also exhibited with the Salon d’Automne from 1921 to 1945 and the Salon des Indépendants from 1927 to 1937. From 1919 onwards, he produced numerous portraits and monuments, including busts of actors and political figures such as Jane Hyrem, Cécile Sorel, Robine and Albert Lambert.
Paris, Mus. de la Comédie-Française, Paris, Sorbonne.
Sculpture Dance of fire
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
Georges Crouzat 1904-1976
Recognized artist born in Castres (France) in 1904, George Crouzat was childhood attracted by sculpture. At the age of nineteen, he reached the capital where he would be assisted by his friend, Vice-Admiral Louis Jaurès, brother of Jean Jaurès. Georges Crouzat joined the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris where he studied with Paul Landowsky in sculpture and Henry Dropsy’s for the medal. All his life Georges Crouzat leads these two activities head-on (he will be one of the most creative French medalists of the early 20th century). Parallel to his studies, he collaborates with the sculptor Firmin Michelet. This intense collaboration will last about ten years. Very quickly the orders follow one another and he will live well of this double job of sculptor and medaller. In 1928 he received an honorable mention at the Salon des artistes français and performed his first medal for the currency of Paris four years later. In 1937 his Bust of Jean Jaurès was rewarded with a silver medal at the Universal Exhibition. President of the French Society of Engravers Medals, expert near the Court of Appeal and the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris, he has also invested a lot in defending the rights of artists. In total Georges Crouzat’s work has more than five hundred pieces (including 350 medals) including numerous state commissions for the Senate and the National Assembly. Many traces of its production are visible in the Tarn department of origin but its fame extends beyond the Tarnese borders as evidenced by the memorial of the Royal Regiment of Canada, Glory carrying his hero to Ajaccio or the Harvest in Chartres.
The bronze Faune à l’ecureuil is in the collection of the Musée Goya in Castres, France.
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.
Guiraud-Rivière’s fame began in the early years of the 20th century. He became a member of the Société des Artistes Français, where he exhibited at the Salon for the first time in 1907, and where he won an Honourable Mention in 1914. He continued to exhibit at the Salon of the SAF throughout the 1920s and ’30s, and took part in the 1937 International Exhibition of Arts and Techniques in Paris. He began exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne in 1906, with Groupe de Combatants (Group of Fighters) and Danseuse Espagnole (Spanish Dancer). He is also said to have taken part in the Salon des Humoristes, where comical works were shown.
He worked in many media, producing paintings, as well as drawings and illustrations for several magazines. His sculptures – mostly in bronze or bronze and ivory, sometimes cold-painted – were produced by Etling et Cie, Les Neveux de J. Lehmann and André Fau; the ceramic pieces were produced by Sèvres and Robj. He sold several sculptures to the French state and the city of Paris, including David Lançant la Fronde (David with the Slingshot, 1908) and Enigma, one of his most famous pieces. Other sculptures on our website.
Raoul Eugène Lamourdedieu (1877- 1953)
Lamourdedieu attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux from 1894, specializing in woodcarving, after which he transferred to the school of the same name in Paris, where he assisted also in the ateliers of Jean-Alexandre-Joseph Falguière and Alexandre Charpentier.
In 1905 he made his debut at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, at which he continued to exhibit until 1914, and then again after the First World War, from 1920.
Now at his own studio at 11 impasse Ronsin in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, Lamourdedieu became a member also of the Salon d’Automne, the Société des Artistes Décorateurs and Arthur Goldscheider’s La Stèle group, through all of these he presented a selection of figurines, medallions, plaques and domestic accessories, such as clock garnitures and table lamp bases, in a fluid and eye-catching Art Deco style.
He designed sculpture for Pomone, the exclusive design studio lead by Paul Follot for Le Bon Marché.
He either modelled in plaster to be cast in bronze editions by Alexis Rudier (Rudier edited sculpture for Rodin, Maillol and Bourdelle) and other founders.
He alos carved in materials such as acacia wood.
A participant in the Expositions Internationales of both 1925 and 1937 (he created a granite fountain and two massive patinated plaster figures for the later exposition), Lamourdedieu was appointed a full member of the Salon de la Lumière in 1939. A retrospective exhibition of his works dating from 1900 was staged at the Salon of the Société des Artistes Décorateurs in 1942.
In addition to his household sculpture, Lamourdedieu undertook a number of monumental public commissions, including fountains in Paris in the place de la Porte d’Auteuil (L’Amour, l’Éveil à la Vie, 1926) and the gardens at the Petit
Palais; a family sepulchre in the Saint-Pierre cemetery in Marseilles and a war memorial in the town of Soissons, on which he collaborated with the architect Albert Bartholomé.
Art Deco bronze dancing nude and kneeling man
Lamourdedieu’s artworks are conserved in public collections,
Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris
Musée d’art et d’archéologie du Périgord à Périgueux
Musée des Beaux-arts d’Agen
Musée des Arts Décoratifs of Paris,
Musée des Beaux-Arts of Nantes
Musée de la Ville de Mont-de-Marsan and also in private collections.
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.
Max Le Verrier, 1891 – 1973
Louis Octave Maxime Le Verrier was born in Neuilly sur Seine to a Belgian mother and a Parisian father who was a goldsmith and jeweller. He served in the French army during the First World War before studying at the École des Beaux-Arts in Geneva where he met the artists and fellow students Pierre Le Faguays and Marcel Bouraine; the three artists became life-long friends.
In 1919 Max Le Verrier opened his own foundry, producing sculptures and decorative objects, lamps, bookends and car mascots.
Drawn by his love of animals to zoos and circuses, he carved his first sculpture, the famous pelican in a typical 1925’s style. He signed the work with his pseudonym Artus. During this period Max Le Verrier created many models of animals f.e. panthers like Baghera, Ouganda and Jungle, an impressive Lion, storks, squirrels and horses most of which where cast in art metal in preference to bronze.
It was in front of the cages of the Jardin des Plantes that Max le Verrier created his work monkey with umbrella, a three-year-old chimpanzee who answered to the pretty name of Boubou. A great friendship was born between the monkey and the artist. Boubou held by the zookeeper outside the cage, agreed to strike a pose in exchange for bananas. Moreover, every morning, he looked at the side of the entrance to wait for the one who was going to immortalize him in. The sculpture Pluie received a medal at the Salon des Humoristes in 1927.
Among the artists whose work he cast were the sculptors:Pierre Le Faguays, pseudonym Fayral, Marcel Bouraine, pseudonym Derenne & Briand, Raymonde Guerbe, Jules Masson, Charles, Janle, Denis, De Marco and Garcia as well as his own works. These items were sold in the atelier at 100 rue du Théâtre in Paris.
Max Le Verrier was a Full Member of the Société des Artistes Décorateurs and exhibited there regularly. He had a stand at the 1925 Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels in the Grand Palais, where his display was awarded a Gold Medal. His stand at the 1937 Paris International Exhibition was awarded a Medal of Honour.
In 1928 Max Le Verrier carved from a live model, his famous Clarté lamp which depicted a nude woman on tip-toe with an illuminated globe in her outstretched hands, the main piece of art of his collection.
In fact, he needed 3 different life models: one for the head, another one for the chest, and one for the legs. For this last part, he asked a dancer playing in Josephine Baker’s ballets to pose.
This model came in 4 sizes, Lueur Lumineuse, Lumina, Clarté, Clarté life size.
The majority of Le Verrier’s figurines are of maidens with a similar idealized athleticism.
The Clarté lamp was displayed in the exhibition Lumières at the Georges Pompidou Center from May to August 1985 but also in 1987 the exhibition Made in France at Harrod’s in London and in the exhibition De main de maître at the Grand Palais in Paris.
It was also exhibited in the Martinez hotel in Cannes in 2000.
Max Le Verrier worked throughout the 1930s.
He was arrested in 1944 for his work in the French Resistance, but after the War he continued to sculpt until his death in 1973.
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.