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MODERN BELGIAN]
511
SCULPTURE


characteristics of Rodin's work, apart from some exaggeration of expression to which they have given rise, that has had the most valuable influence on the younger generation.

Nothing need be particularly noted as to the development of masters long since recognized, whatever branch of the school they belong to; such as Frémiet, Mercié, Marqueste, Injalbert, Saint-Marceaux and others already spoken of. The very distinct individuality of Bartholomé, after asserting itself in his crowning effort the “ Monument of the Dead, " found very delicate expression in numerous works on a more modest scale, nude figures, monumental groups, and portraits. His monument to jean-Jacques Rousseau for the Pantheon (1909) is a fine example of his art. We must not omit, after the elder enervation, the name of Alfred Lenoir, who particularly distinguisheci himself in portrait-statues by dealing successfully with the difficult problem of modern dress, as in the monuments of Berlioz, to César Franck, to Marshal Canrobert, in the bust of M. Moreau, &c.; nor that of Gustave Michel, a spirit loftily inspired in his decorative compositions and figures for galleries, “ Le réve " (the Dream), “ La pensée ” (Thought)-both in the Luxembourg Gallery, -“ Au soir de la vie ” (in the Evening of Life), and “ Automne.” H. Gréber, after some realistic works, such as “ Le Grisou " (Fire-damp) and portrait-statuettes, as the tiny full length figures of “ Frémiet " and of “ Gévine, " distinguished himself in the Salon of 1909 by a statue of “ Narcissus " at the edge of a fountain-pool, very ele ant and Italian in feeling. And among the younger men of the sciiool we must name Verlet, Gasq Vermare, Ernest Dubois, and Larche, all employed on im ortant works. It must indeed be said that in France, apart from the select committees Which have, with more or less success, peopled provincial towns with monumental statues, the government has always taken an interest in encouraging the art of sculpture. Any considerable work of that class could hardly be undertaken without its support. The former Council of Fine Arts in Paris foresaw the application of sculpture to the decoration of the park of Saint Cloud; the present council has encouraged a stron competition among our sculptors by decorating the squares of the éarrousel and of the Champ de Mars, by carrying on the decorative work in the Pantheon, &c. They have thus given commissions to a group of rising artists, who quickly made a distinguished reputation. The names of these younger sculptors have already been recorded here; in the ten years 1901-1910 they came into the front rank of their contemporaries by their conspicuous talent and the firm expression of their ideals. The first fact to be noted about them is their determination to be men of their time. Many artists before them were 'indeed possessed by this idea: Legros, Dalou, the Belgian sculptor Constantin Meunier, the American St Gaudens, and amon their immediate precursors Alfred Lenoir. But now this purposeful bias is more strongly marked; the new men do not restrict themselves to the merely monumental or commemorative aspect, to the picturesque treatment of the miners or the tillers of the soil. Every type of the people, even of the middle-class citizen, is included in the programme. Alexandre Charpentier (d. 1909) was one of the earliest of these youn er realists, and he gave it expression not only in sculpture proper, Imt in medal work, and bas-reliefs introduced into architecture, in decorative furniture and in every form of ornamental sculpture. Thus he produced the “Woman suckling her Infant” (1883) and a large bas-relief of “ Bakers, " executed in stone and placed in the square of St Germain des Pres, Paris; and, following in his footsteps, other artists ave expression to the same ideas. An instructive fact is that one ofg these men was a pupil of the École des Beaux Arts and of the academy at Rome. Hippolyte Lefebvre devoted himself to proving that the common aspects of modern life are not an insuperable problem for the sculptor's art; nay, that the actually afford him new subjects most suitable to his methods. If; persisted in this purpose, and finally won the adhesion of his fellow-artists and the medal of honour for his “ Jeunes aveugles " (Blind Boys), in the Luxembourg Gallery. We have also by him in this manner of the day, handled with truly synthetic breadth, “ Summer, " a youthful female figure in an ordinary walking dress carrying a parasol, her straw hat tilted over her eyes; " Ninter, " an old lady wrapped in furs, coming down snow-covered steps; “ Spring, " more accurately the “ Age of Love, " a group of six figures, and others. His comrade Roger Bloche has gone even further, asserting with no little pugnacity the same ideas in figures derived from the people, and in episodes of daily life, as in the “ Accident, ” a recumbent figure surrounded by about twenty bystanders, drawn from every rank of society and rendered with that firm decision and breadth of treatment which alone constitute a work of art. This work earned him a first prize in the Salon of 1909. These awards are an unmistakable sign of official recognition of these t€“d€¥1C1¢S, so long ignored and disapproved. Such encouragement has borne fruit. Francois Sicard and Henri Bouchard, who both had won the prix de Rome, started boldly on the new road, one in his monumental sculpture (a “ Monument of the War of 1870 " at TOQYSE “ Monument to Barbey "; “ Monument to Bertagna "; a pediment for a college for girls at Tours), the other in works recalling the feeling of Constantin eunier by subjects of labour, in town or country, small figures in bronze, or large and important decorative groups, as ' La Carriére " (the Quarry) and “ Le Défrichement " (Turning the Sod), a group of six oxen led by two men. This was intended to decorate the Champ de Mars.

Meantime the study of beauty in the nude, far from being neglected, seemed to start on a new fiight. Some students of the Roman school revived this tradition. Victor Ségofhn and Maximilien Landowski, each in his own nervous, vivid and characteristic manner, and, borne on an independent current, Louis Convers and Aimé Octobre show a feeling for grace and charm.

This is the normal and traditional heritage of the school; we see how strikingly it has renewed itself. In opposition to the followers of Rodin we find another group which represents an antagonistic school. Mademoiselle Camille Claudel, Iosé de Charmoy and Henri Matisse t pify the extremes of this manner; Emile Bourdelle, Aristide Niiaillot and Lucien Schnegg might be regarded as some of the artists who best deserved attention. With various characteristics and vehement or equable temperament they all reveal in the highest degree a fine sense of purely plastic qualities; in them we.find no lapse into the pictorial, no purpose or arriére-pensée that is not of the essence of sculpture. Emile Bourdelle has given us busts of Beethoven, Carpeaux, Heracles (in the Luxembourg Gallery), Pallas Athena, and the large group of “ Wrestlers of Tarn et Garonne " for completion in bronze. Maillot for his part prefers to work in marble and stone with large surfaces, after the tradition of the ancients; he exhibited in the autumn Salons several heads of girls and of old women, a figure of a youth in bronze (1909) and a stooping nude female figure in plaster., Lucien Schnegg's (d. 1909) reputation would have been assured by one bust only from his hand, that, namely, of his pupil “ Mademoiselle lane Poupelet.” This in marble is now in the Luxembourg Gallery, and is a masterpiece for grace and dignity in the best spirit of the antique. Besides these there should be named Jean Boucher, who has executed a monument to Renan, the “ Evening of Life ” and “ Ancient and Modern "; E. Derré, an inventive decorator, 'with social tendencies and grateful emotional feeling; Max Blondat, lively and Witty, as is seen in a fountain with frogs entitled “ eunesse " (exhibited in the Royal Academy, 1910) and “ Love ” in the Luxembourg, Gallery); Abbal, Pierre Roche, who loves to handle very various materials-marble, stone and lead; Moreau-Vauthier, D. Poisson, Fix-Masseau, Gaudissard, David, jacquot, Despiau, known by some fine busts, Drivier, Niclausse and Michel Cazin. Sculpture on a small scale was effectively carried on by L. Dejean, Vallgren, Carabin, who carves in wood, Cavaillon and Féomont-Meurice. The sculpture of animals, since G. Gardet and P. Péter, has been brilliantly executed by Paul Jouve, Christophe, Navellier, Bigot, Perrault-Harry, Marie Gautier, Berthier and others. (L. BE.) The inevitable reaction in Belgium following upon the long period of dry and lifeless academic sculpture is difficult to' trace to any particular pioneer or leader. Nevertheless the three men who certainly mark this period of revolt Bewan are Guillaume Geefs, De Bay and Simonis. There m, ;, ,¢, ,, -¢, is, however, very little to be remembered of these men except that they were the best of their time. Geef's work was marred greatly by his frivolous and unessential details and poverty of thought, together with a frigid coldness of expression in his modelling. In his statue oi General Belliard at Brussels, however, he shows the tendency to search for a broader and truer interpretation that warrants his being mentioned as belonging to the movement against the academic school. De Bay was a. sculptor of a more artistic temperament, and though some of his works are charming and sympathetic when judged by the standard of his own day, few show evidence of advanced ideas. The work of Simonis is very different. Beyond the mere endeavour to grasp something more true, his work is fresher and perhaps more honest, more bold and gifted with more life. Such qualities are shown in his “ Young Girl, ” in the museum at Brussels, and “ Godefroid de Bouillon, ” in the Place Royale. Besides these three sculptors there was no man of note to strengthen the revival of 'sculptural art until Paul de Vigne (1843-1901). His early work bears the unmistakable influence of the Italian Renaissance, but after studying in Paris and in Rome he became a follower of the true classic ideal, not of the so-called classicism of Canova and his followers. He was a prolific artist, and from his numerous works it is difficult to pronounce one as his masterpiece. Perhaps that most generally considered his best is the sepulchral marble figure of “ Immortality ” in the museum at Brussels. Almost its equal in beauty and truthful rendering are his two bronze groups, “ The Triumph of Art, ” on the facade of the Palais des Beaux Arts at Brussels, and the monument to Breydel and De Koninck at Bruges. Among his other works are “ Fra Angelico of Fiesole.”

Modem