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"Little Sad One" by Demetre Chiparus
Endearing early 20th Century Art Deco gilt bronze figure of a young woman drying her eyesin a loose fitting dress, the surface with excellent hand chased surface detail and wonderful deep colour, signed Chiparus and inscribed with Etling Paris foundry mark on a shaped marble plinth.
Height: 17 cm
Condition: Excellent Original Condition
Materials: Gilt Bronze
Foundry: Etling Paris
Book Ref: Chiparus - Master of Art Deco by Alberto Shayo
Little Sad One by Chiparus
Romanian by birth, Chiparus worked entirely in Paris, first exhibiting in the Salon of 1914. He is best known for his figures or exotic dancer made of carved ivory and highly worked bronze. The subjects of these chryselephantine works were taken from popular personalities of the day, from contemporary theatre characters and the Orientalist zeitgeist in Paris in the interwar years, as exemplified by Diaghilev's Ballets Russe.
Chiparus's early figures, those on a relatively simple bases, were primarily cast by Etling, a Paris foundry the retailer of contemporary French decorative arts in the 1920s and 1930s. The later pieces were made by the Les Neveux de J Lehmann foundry which specialised in making the more elaborate marble and onyx plinths like the one on this figure Simplicité.
The Ballets Russes was a ballet company established in 1909 by the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev and performed until his death in 1929. It created a sensation in Western Europe because of the great vitality of Russian ballet compared to French dance and penetrated every facet of entertainment. The great Paris music halls, the Folies Bergère, the Casino de Paris, the Moulin Rouge and others put on spectacular shows inspired by the Ballet Russes.
Chiparus attended the music halls and purchased all the magazines which illustrated the dancers. His wife and occasional models posed for him as he varied some of the photographed illustrations, never wasting a good attitude, this gave Chiparus an inexhaustible supply of material and influence from which he derived his most flamboyant, exotic and dramatic statues, frozen in spectacular attitudes, tall and sensuous. A Chiparus figure repertoire symbolises a brief golden era and the sculptures that survived stand graceful, self-confident and proudly decorative.
To see a selection of Chiparus sculptures please click here.