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I offer you this following advice without influence or prejudice, however it should be noted and so it has been added for your perusal...
*** BUYER BEWARE: Most of the commercial Art Nouveau Pedro Rigual works which were produced during the Art Nouveau period were derivative copies of more famous and earlier works by Emmanuel Villanis. For example,Cleopatre by Rigual (and many more besides) feature identical composition, angles & curves as those by Villanis, of the same names. Rigual even `borrowed' Villanis's basal inscription style, and most/many of Rigual's metal items are not true bronze at all, but were produced as this piece using spelter. I would advise against purchasing any P Rigual `BRONZE' unless it can be firmly established by an independent and reputable source ***
THIS PIECE however, should not to be confused with modern-day copies or reproductions as are currently appearing online. It is a genuine antique Art Nouveau figurative bust of Lady Empire. She has been cast using bronzed spelter, a favourable alloy used as an alternative to bronze throughout the 20th century for Art Nouveau and Art Deco ornaments and figurines. The green onyx base is also original to the piece.
There was outrage when at first Art Nouveau was showcased in Paris and then in London. It was the first modern artistic style of the 20th century which stopped looking back for inspiration within the arts. Art Nouveau (New Art, in French) had distinctive new looks which used curvy-lines and organic flowing styles, which displayed sinuous movement and/or the more linear & austere looks by artists such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh for example.
Born in Spain in 1863 Pedro Rigual (1863 – 1917) was raised in Paris by his French parents. He is best known for busts and full-figure romanticised depictions of young women with flowing attire and elaborate hats decorated with flowers characteristic of the genre. He worked with a variety of mediums, from bronze, spelter and plaster to create numerous portrayals and in various sizes.
His metal castings are invariably signed in the mould with a monogrammed P. Rigual as present upon this piece. Marble & onyx bases or plinths were also added as were named labels such as with this titled example of `Empire'
I do not interfere with antique items, particularly bronzed items which should never be polished. There is over 100 years of natural patina upon this piece which cannot be replicated and should not be removed. A light dusting using a soft-bristled brush should be used to clean these items.
The figure is in good antique condition and the metal has no dents or splits. Mentioned here for accuracy is a very old `nick' to the back of the lady's hair, which does not detract as is shown in my photographs.
Height: 7.75 inches Widest width: 5 inches Base size: 2.5 x 2.5 inches Postage weight: 2k
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