Torchere “La Persane”
Signed E’le. Guillemin and F. Barbedienne fondeur
Height : 128 cm (50 1/3 in.) ; Width : 43 cm (17 in.) ; Depth : 60 cm (24 2/3 in.)
Parcel-gilt and patinated bronze figure of an Oriental woman upholding a nine-arm candelabra, dressed in Leventine dance costume and oriental jewelry.
This statue is listed in the Barbedienne catalogue as “La Persane”.
A leading Parisian sculptor of the period, Emile Guillemin began his career at the 1870 Salon of French Artists. He participated in various Exhibitions where he was awarded honors and medals. The quality of his chasing was highly acclaimed because of its realistic effects : accurate costuming, minute detailing and expressive faces. Most of his works, made in bronze and cast in different sizes were inspired by exotic subjets, such as biblical heroes, conquistadors and above all life-like Oriental figures.
Born in 1810, Ferdinand Barbedienne started one of the most famous XIXth century bronze art casting companies. He died in 1892. In addition to his personal production, he worked for famous artists such as Moreau, Barrias, Clésinger, and Carrière-Belleuse. At the various Universal exhibitions, Barbedienne’s production was always highly esteemed and himself admired by contemporary art critics. They considered him to be the leader among XIXth century bronze casters, because of the exquisite quality of his bronzes.
– Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye : Two Roman gladiator casts which were presented at the 1870 Salon of French Artists.
– Musée municipal, Toul : Bust of Thiers (1878).
– Musée des Beaux-Arts, Montréal (Canada):Sculpted group depicting Eliezer and Rebecca.
– Musée d’Orsay, Paris : “Bas d’armoire” by Diehl, mounted with gilt-bronze plaques by Guillemin (Inv. O.A.O. 992), 1867 Paris Universal Exhibition.
Archives du Musée d’Orsay.
L’univers des bronzes, Yves Devaux, Ed. Pygmalion, Paris, 1978.
Les bronzes du XIXe siècle, P. Kjellberg, Les Ed. de l’amateur, 1989, p° 369.