Monday, September 6, 2010

Object of the Day: Revéil de Mai by Auguste Moreau, 1863

Another great French artistic family, the Moreau family was renowned for their magnificent sculptures. Jean-Baptiste Moreau had three sons: Auguste, Mathurin, and Hippolyte. Auguste Moreau (1834-1917) was one of the more prolific of the three. Auguste studied with his father and also under Aimé Millet, Augustin Drumont and Jean Thomas. He made his debut at the Salon in 1861 and became known for his sculptures of mischievous maidens in diaphanous robes and his reliance on natural scenes and subject matter.


Revéil de Mai is a perfect representation of Auguste Moreau’s work. This “French bronze” piece, standing at nearly twenty-inches in height is signed by Moreau on the reverse of the sculpture. She balances lithely on a swelling of rocks and flowers—one leg extended behind her as she holds aloft a sprig of flowers. Her gown and her hair blow freely in the first breezes of Springtime. A smile creeps across her cherubic face as she basks in the break of May. This work of pure revelry and joy sums up Moreau’s artistic style. She also serves to encourage us to appreciate each moment because joy, like the seasons, is fleeting.

11 comments:

Marie said...

This is really beautiful. It is a original, isn't it? How hight is this great sculpture?

Joseph Crisalli said...

Thank you. It is about eighteen inches tall.

Anonymous said...

Have a piece described in your narrative except purchased with a wooden base showing a small plaque with Reveil De Mai Par Aug. Moreau, Sculpt. Heavy, size of statue 18 in. plus base. Should I assume it is a reproduction. If so, is there still a need for appraisal or would it be of no value.

Joseph Crisalli said...

Yours is certainly a reproduction, yes. However, it is most likely a reproduction of the era made under the direction of Moreau and with his blessing--from molds of his creation. While there are a few contemporary reproductions of these pieces, most of them are from the Nineteenth Century. With this in mind, you should not despair because the piece does have value. These figures would not widely reproduced. Only a few castings of each figure were made. Therefore, it's safe to assume that yours should not be dismissed. Here in the Dallas area, I see Nineteenth Century reproductions of Moreau pieces valued between $1100 to $2000. A safe insurance estimate would be $2500 to $3000.

JayJay said...

IMG_3300.jpg

I don't know if I can send a picture of my Moreau. Titled "Frissen de Mai" Par Aug. Moreau. It is also signed Aug on the side of base. It is unusual because of the grape vine and five clusters of red and green glass grapes.

Joseph Crisalli said...

Hi JayJay. Your picture didn't come through, but your sculpture sounds interesting. You can sign up for the forum and post your picture there if you're interested. There's a link to the forum on the right column. Just click on the picture of the parrot. Thanks for sharing.

Darius said...

I really love your Moreau statue!I re
cently acquired a Auguste Moreau myself.It is about 30 inches tall,and very heavy,on a huge marble base.I've seen a reproduction of this model,but I'm 99% sure that this is an original.If I could send a photo to you,I'd appreciate your opinion and an suggestion of an insurance value.

Joseph Crisalli said...

Darius, you can email me at BelleEpoque@tx.rr.com.

Anonymous said...

Read your blog with interest as I have a Moreau Reveil de Mai which needs some restoration. Is 'French Bronze' the same as spelter?

Joseph Crisalli said...

Yes. French bronze is just another, more attractive, term for spelter.

Tina Grieve said...

This is beautiful, I have been following your blog since I moved to France a little over a year ago. I adore everything about art & history in Europe. I am an artist and living and working in France seemed like a dream come true. I truly enjoy your writings and how you describe Auguste Moreau's style of sculpting from the child-like cherub faces to the flowing gowns and accentuated body features. I found something at a local sale that looks very similar but it has no stamp and no signature and I know absolutely nothing about antiques. It is most definitely old and was encrusted with years of dust and wax. It doesn't really matter much to me if she is worth anything because I have already found value in her as she is beautiful. Your blog has inspired me to photograph her in front of Le château de Chambéry.

http://i.imgur.com/ULFug2b.jpg?1