An attractive late 19th Century French Art Nouveau bronze bust of a young beauty with a look of deep contemplation on her face with excellent hand finished surface detail and very fine rich brown variegated patina. Titled, signed E Villanis and stamped with Societe des Bronzes foundry seal.
Height: 40 cm
Condition: Excellent Original Condition
Foundry: Societe des Bronzes
Book Ref: Emmanuel Villanis by Josje Hortulanus-de Mik
Esmeralda, born Agnès, is a fictional character in Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. She is a French Roma girl. She constantly attracts men with her seductive dances
Emmanuel Villanis was an industrious man. He is believed to have created some 200 to 250 pieces. His oeuvre pre-eminently consisted of busts and full body statues. Most of these were manufactured in bronze, but there are also models in white metal and terra cotta. Different patinas were used. The bronzes were mainly cast by the Societé de Bronzes de Paris and can be recognised by the round stamp (cachet) at the back of the statue. In addition, reliefs, vases, lamps, clocks and ink stands are recorded . Vases and lamps were mostly made of tin, and there are also marble statues. Pieces in which ivory is used are as rare as silver statues.
Villanis was inspired by women. He dedicated almost his complete works to them. One model in particular was portrayed many times by him. His portrayals of children may be less known, but are nevertheless wonderfully done. His statues are always in perfect proportion and are full of expression: dreamy-eyed, happy, sirene, indifferent, cheeky, serious, sad, detached, melancholy.
His style can always be recognised by his use of hollowed out eyeballs. The name of the statue can usually be found on the base in scrolled script and the signature of Emmanuel Villanis is always visible and legible.
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