A silvered bronze casket signed Auguste Cain
A silvered bronze casket signed by Auguste Cain (1821-1894) topped with a pheasant, with two handles and four legs made of tree branches. Of the two main sides, oval niches are decorated on one hand with two rabbits and the other three partridges. The box is richly decorated with branches and mulberry fruit and nut trees. All the decorative elements of this box are in high relief which gives much life to this casket.
It is very representative of the Romantic movement, which in addition to its influence on the sculpture aimed on the portrait and the treatment of certain types of subjects, promotes the emergence of a particular genre: the animal sculpture. Animals fascinate the romantics; they represent the wildlife, the world of Nature, perfect mix between violence and sensibility. The animal sculptors are simply following a path already opened by the painters, first by the English, then by the Romantics of the 1820s in particular Gericault and Horace Vernet.The work of Antoine Louis Barye is at the peak of the genre, it brings in its wake many sculptors such as Alfred Barye, his son, Pierre-Jules Mène and his son in law, Auguste Cain, the sculptor of the lions and tigers, which made the representation of these beasts his specialty. In spite of the reluctance of the academic society which considers the animal unworthy of the great art, the critics and the public speak very highly of this production, which clearly influenced the decorative arts. The animal sculptors following the example of Antoine-Louis Barye also produced many decorative objects. Many artworks appeared at that time, using the animal directory. Stork, turtle, lizards or frogs appear on the base or on the stems of the candelabra. Each of these animal representations reflects, in its way, the romantic impulse that runs throughout Europe.
Bibliography: - Michel Poletti, Alain Richarme, Barye : catalogue raisonnée des sculptures, éd. Gallimard, Paris, 2000- Charles Saunier, Barye, éd. F Rieder & Cie, Paris, 1925- Collection complète des bronzes d’art de P-J Mène et de A Cain, sujets de chasse – animaux, éd. Susse Frères, Paris, 1907
Dim: W: 10,2 in - D: 4,7in - H: 7,5in.
Dim: L:26cm, P:12cm, H:19cm.
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