Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Object of the Day: Danse Des Escarpes by August Moreau

Everything about the idea of a “Dance of the Scarves” would have appealed to a Nineteenth Century French sculptor with Auguste Moreau’s sensibilities. The fluidity of the veils, the implication of motion, the opportunity to render a figure of a robust young woman and the blending of ethereal and terrestrial beauty would have been an appealing subject indeed.

It’s no wonder, then, that Auguste Moreau chose this subject. Sculptors of the era were often inspired to create more naturalistic representations of classical or, even, biblical themes. The figure presented by Moreau in this sculpture reminds us of Salome and her lethal “Dance of the Seven Veils,” however, this is a more bucolic interpretation. Here, the figure is elevated in joy, a large rose tucked behind her ear. She immediately speaks to us of grace and elegance. These were the hallmarks of French sculpture, and, undoubtedly Auguste Moreau’s calling card.

Cast in spelter and signed on the reverse by the artist, this piece features its original rosewood base. She is a spirited reminder that the simplest of moments can be the most breathtaking.

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