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Pierre-Jules  Mene
French, (1810-1879)

Jiji and Giselle
Bronze, signed, ref: Bronzes of the 19th Century by Pierre Kjellberg, p482
H 5.75 inches x W 8.5 inches

Pierre-Jules Mêne was a French animal sculptor born on 25 March 1810 in Paris. He was the son of a successful metal turner who taught him about casting and how to work metal as a teenager. Although he did not attend art school he did receive some tuition and also spent a lot of his spare time sketching animals at the Jardin des Plantes. He started to produce sculptures based on the detailed drawings he made and by 1837 he had set up his own foundry so he could cast his own bronzes. He made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1838 with a bronze of a Dog and Fox and in 1849 his work was exhibited in London by Ernest Gambart. Mêne was awarded the Cross of the Legion d'Honneur in 1861 in recognition for his contributions to art. Over the course of his artistic career, he produced many sculptures of animals including, dogs, horses, cattle, sheep and goats which were done on a small scale. Although he was asked to produce a number of monuments he chose instead to focus on producing highly detailed and well finished bronzes which he sold across Europe and America. As a result, he achieved a great deal of success and popularity during his lifetime and today is still considered one of the finest animal sculptors of all time. He died in Paris on 20 May 1879. Examples of Mêne’s work can be found at the Courtauld Institute, Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC and elsewhere.

Price £3,300

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