AUGUSTE CAIN (FRENCH, 1821-1894) FRENCH BRONZE SCULPTURE OF A BULL
Monogrammed "AC" on flank, signed "A Cain" in naturalistic base, Signed and sealed by foundry (Susse Freres)
Item # 1403MNP05-Z
A truly magnificent work by prolific sculptor Auguste Nicholas Cain, the work captures a proud bull strutting along a naturalistic base. The sense of realism and accuracy is striking, every aspect of the bull's profile nearly photographic in representation of life. The animal is raising his head, looking clearly onward in unwavering determination, his incredibly sharp horns projecting with a perfect curve. His facial features are crisp and precise, highlighting the deep wrinkles of his neck and bulging veins beneath the tight ears and flawlessly chased nose. His hind is impressed with a monogram typical of Cain, "AC", and the base is likewise signed prominently at the front right corner. One of the more lively bases, it is a busy and detailed scene, his feet treading upon an open leveled tree stump with throngs of wheat scattered along the ground with weeds cropping up through the rocks. The back of the base is signed and sealed by the Susse Brothers foundry. The level of detail is truly exceptional, the chased sculpture finished in a most expert manner, the bronze even retaining what appears to be fingerprints deep in the cast - these resonate almost certainly from Cain's handling of and working of the clay sculpture prior to a cast being made. An investment grade work of art, this powerful subject is an exceptional selection for any collectors of French animalier bronze sculptures.
As an artist, Auguste Caine was clearly influenced by his highly prolific and renowned father in-law Pierre Jules Mene, but also was a student of Rude and Alexandre Guionnet. He married Mene's daughter in 1852, something of a tradition for many Paris artists who married their mentor's daughters in order to carry on the family business without complications. During his father-in-law's lifetime, they cast works together in Mene's personal foundry, after which he took over the foundry and personally oversaw the business. After his death in 1894, Susse Brothers put forth a catalogue of his work and began casting his sculptures - other than his large commissions, these being executed by Barbedienne, Thiebault, Rolland and Gonon, all of his sculptures after that point were cast by Susse. Compared to his contemporaries, Cain produced few small bronzes, most of these being sculpted between 1846-1868, after which he received a number of State commissions for monuments in bronze. He regularly exhibited at the Salon, showing 38 sculptures between 1846 and 1888.
Animals in Bronze, Payne, p. 399
Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century: Dictionary of Sculptors, Kjellberg, p. 168
Art Bronzes, Forrest, p. 166, 205, 472
The Animaliers, Mackay, p. 58 (extensive biography)
Measurements: 13 3/8" high x 13 1/4" long (tip of tail to nose) x 6" deep
Condition Report: Exceptional condition. Minor patina wear, none noteworthy. Dust in foliage.
Item ID: 1403MNP05-Z
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Period American Furniture, French Furnishings, Fine Nineteenth Century Art and Sculpture
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