Cast after the original model by Eugène-Nicolas-Clément, Comte d”Astanière (French, 1841-1918). One of the larger-size castings in overall good condition and showing excellent patination.
Eugene, the Comte d’Astaniere, was primarily known in his youth as a courageous and highly-decorated cavalry officer who distinguished himself repeatedly in combat, including against the Germans in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, in which campaign he was severely wounded and almost died.
During his prolonged recuperation, he turned his attention to art. He studied intensively with Jean Alexandre Joseph Falguière (1831-1900) , the preeminent French sculptor of the day who would become his life-long friend and artistic mentor. D’Astaniere quickly mastered the art of sculpture and was recognized by the Salon of 1882 with a Gold Medal for his first exhibited work.
From that time forward, he accumulated numerous diplomas, medals and juried awards for his sculpture. At the Salon of French artists, he received frequent medals and was soon elected to membership of the Jury of the Salon
He exhibited ‘The Juggler,’ a large marble, at the Salon of 1887, then sent a bronze entitled ‘Acrobat’ to the Salon of 1889. At the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1889, he received a bronze medal for the presentation of ‘The Angler’. He exhibited in Moscow in 1891, at the 1893 Universal Exposition in Chicago receiving awards at both. He exhibited a marble entitled ‘The White Monk’ at the Salon of 1898 and obtained a medal of honor at the Universal Exhibition of 1900. He continued to be celebrated for the illustrious military exploits of his youth and, as a result, was frequently commissioned to cast portrait sculptures of prominent members of fin-de-siecle Parisian military, political and artistic society.