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Alexandre Falguiere (1831-1900)
La Cigale. A sculptural rendering of the salon painting La Cigale 1872 by Jules Joseph Lefebvre, now in the Museum ofArt Victoria Australia.
Bronze, with mid brown patination.
This edition was also available in a silvered finish.
Signed in engraved script 'Falguiere'.
'Goupil et Cie Editeurs', numbered 21
Jean Alexandre Joseph Falguière (known as Alexandre Falguière), French sculptor and painter. He was a student of François Jouffroy in Paris at the Ecole de Beaux Arts, then spent the period 1860 to 1867 in Rome.
He first exhibited at the Salon in 1857 with 'The Child Theseu's' and in 1859 and two years later won the Prix de Rome with 'The Wounded Mezance'.
In 1864 whilst in Rome he produced the sculpture 'Victory in the Cockfight' , this won him first prize at the Paris Salon. This was a turning point in his career and his sculpture took on a more realist tone. He secured many public commissions including the 'Triumph of the Republic' on the Arc de Triumph.
He was regarded as the successor to Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and the first realist of nineteenth-century French sculpture. His restrained classical, and in most cases female mythological figures - the Diana's, nymphs, and bacchantes - made him extremely popular.
As well as large public sculptures he sculpted many smaller genre and allegorical works.
La Cigale was based on a painting of the same subject by Jules Lefebvre.
Lefebvre took his subject La Cigale', (the cicada or grasshopper) from Aesop's well-known fable of the grasshopper and the ant, Aesop tells that while the ant laboured to store up food in the good times of summer, the grasshopper sang and danced the time away. With the coming of autumn cold, la cigale in her nakedness, realizes her vulnerability and that the season of winter will be as bare as she. As often in his art, Lefebvre engaged maiden beauty, on this occasion to narrate the fate of the unprepared. It has been suggested that Lefebvre also had in mind recent French history, the disastrous Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, of Napoleon III's lack of preparation, economic collapse and the Commune uprising. This was the prelude to La Cigale's debut in the 1872 Salon.