Paris, January 2005

On a visit to Paris to see Isabelle and Laurence, we visited the Musee Bourdelle. Despite my enthusiasm for Rodin&apost;s work, I had not heard of this pupil. Here are some shots that worked despite the gathering gloom (it was gone 4pm when we arrived).

Herakles taking aim

You can see from the woman standing in the background that this archer is rather larger than life.  Even allowing she is French.  I couldn´t get the perspective and the face in one shot, but the latter is quite expressively hard.

Herakles, side view

And here is one of his models for the statue, with, as the background, models for his bas-reliefs at the Théatre des Champs Elysées.
Archer in the salle des polychromes
Bourdelle seems to have peaked just as the First War was about to break out.  The museum is full of the kind of sculpture you can recognise as a war memorial while you are still a mile off.   Here is a head which seems to have been destined to celebrate the re-integration of Alsace into the republic:

Inspiration for Fred?

I think I remember a cartoon strip in Pilote (Philémon?) which owed something to this distorted head.   There are also many reliefs of the kind one finds in French railway stations and the more expensive banks.

Dance relief
For my money, Bourdelle was better at classical themes, like his dying centaur (aka Sappho)

Dying centaur, Sappho

and with smaller, more intimate works like this bust.

Bust of unknown swiss, alsatian, or german woman

I can only remember that her name sounded Germanic. 

Le Baiser au Volubilis

Le Baiser au Volubilis, the notice reads.  I am not sure I can see either the bindweed or the kiss.  Nor do I know what Bourdelle was representing here:

Unown Subject, Bourdelle

Lastly, there are several tributes to Bourdelle´s master:

Robin by Bourdelle

He also had one or two pieces by Rodin in his collection.

Boy walking, Rodin

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