A. E. Carrier-Belleuse
Beautiful pair of putti torcheres
Signed A. Durenne et Sommevoire
Height : 110 cm (43 1/3 in.) ; Width : 38 cm (15 in.) ; Depth : 25 cm (9 3/4 in.)
Pair of putti torchere-holders, made in dark brown-green patinated iron-cast, enlighted with gilding on the drapes.
Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824-1887), nick-named the « Clodion of the 19th century » ; was a very prolific sculptor, treating his decorative objects and his portraits with equal naturalistic rigor, full of charm and life. He entered the Paris Fine-Arts school in 1840, where he studied sculpture under David d’Angers. From the early 1860’s, he won success with his sculptures presented at the French Artists Salon and particularly during the 1867 Salon, where he was awarded a « médaille d’honneur » and the « Légion d’honneur » for his Messiah. The « new » Paris redesigned by the Baron Haussmann during Napoleon IIIrd’s reign, commissioned many of Carriere-Belleuse’s masterpieces : at the Louvre palace with the high-relief L’Abondance on the Flore Pavilion (1865), or the sumptuous decoration made for the most famous Parisian palace on the Champs-Elysées Avenue, owned by the Marchioness of Païva. In the catalogue of the 1878 Universal Exhibition an art critic praised Carrier-Belleuse and added: « Even the English come from London to ask him to work for them ». His busts, nudes, group compositions as well as his candelabras, vases and clocks, all chased remarkably, had a considerable success during the Second Empire.
Antoine Durenne (1822-1895) French founder, finished studying 1841 at the Arts and Crafts school in Angers, and 1842 at the Angers Fine Arts school. He was an early member of the National Decorative Arts School. In 1857, Antoine Durenne bought the Sommevoire factory, which already existed. Thanks to his close collaboration with artists and to a very high standard quality, Durenne led quickly one of the most important French Art cast foundry. He was the first to draw attention to iron-casting and not only to bronze-casting, as did Ferdinand Barbedienne for instance. He was then awarded many times during the Universal Exhibitions held in Paris in 1867 and 1900, in Vienna in 1873. Durenne adorned thus the worldwide cities with his statues, fountains and lights, such in Paris : Alexandre de Serbie on the Muette square, horse and elephant at the Orsay museum outdoor entrance, statues on the Alexandre III bridge, as well as many monuments in the United States, Canada, Venezuela, Colombia, Russia or Guinea.