Louis ‘Navatel’ Vidal (French, 1831 ~ 1892) Born in Nimes he studied under Barye and Rouillard and exhibited at the Salon from 1859 onwards, winning various prizes.
Louis Vidal first became blind during his childhood; studying other sculptors work through touch, and with help from Alfred Barye, he learnt how to work with bronze, marble and plaster. Many of his works are signed Vidal Aveugle or ‘Vidal the Blind’.
Patronised by figures including Princess Mathilde and the Rothschilds, Vidal’s bronze sculptures are highly prized. His talent was further recognised in 1888, when he became the Professor of Modelling at the Ecole Braille in Paris.
French Bronze During the 19th Century a time when Paris was the centre of the art world, the French bronze sculptors and their foundries were creating work with remarkable precision and detail. Table-top and figurative bronzes became a popular feature of tasteful interior decor. Leading the demand of bronzes were foundries including: Barbedienne, Susse Freres, Peyrol and Siot-Decauville. The foundries became proficient at using both lost-wax and sand cast techniques to produce exceptional bronzes of outstanding quality.