ROGER GODCHAUX (FRENCH, 1878-1958) BRONZE SCULPTURE “LIONNE MARCHANT"
Signed in naturalistic base Roger Godchaux, foundry cachet and signature of Susse Freres
Item # 809XBP15Z
Executed in a very fine overall green patination with hints of bronze, browns and blacks, the subject is soft and slinky in her movement. The subject is sometimes noted as “Panther”, as in the case of the work by Forrest (p. 220) and most examples sold by Sotheby’s over the decades; however, it is most commonly assumed to depict a young Lioness and it is probably most accurately referred to as "Lionne Marchant”.
The lioness is finished with Godchaux’s distinctive surface modeling where the flesh is left textured like a wax model on the artists bench, still being formed and tooled. Godchaux’s animal work is characterized by gentleness and a sensitivity towards his subjects that showcases their playfulness and personality. This is captured beautifully in the present example where her curiosity and intensity of focus are fully developed; the anatomical and muscular realism is noteworthy. The naturalistic base is signed in his standard script “Roger Godchaux” and is also signed “Susse Fres. Edit. Paris” with the Susse cachet; a tiny stamp “France” is impressed into the edge below the cachet.
Born in Véndome, France in 1878, Roger Godchaux was a very skilled student of both Adler and Jean Léon Gérome in Paris. He started exhibiting at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1905 where he sent numerous waxes, winning a silver medal in 1928. He remained very active until World War I and continued to appear among members of the Sociéte des Artistes Français until 1958. In 1993 the Musée de Vernon held a posthumous retrospective on the body of his work. The majority of his sculpture is cast by Susse Freres and also by Valsuani.
Art Bronzes, Michael Forrest, 1988, p. 220, f. 3.168 [present example, “Panther” noted as circa 1895]; p. 476
Bronzes of the 19th Century: Dictionary of Sculptors, Pierre Kjellberg, p. 361-362
Animals in Bronze, Christopher Payne, p. 406 [biography], p. 255, p. 260 [examples of his Elephant subjects, all executed by Susse]
E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Gründ, 2006, vol. VI, p. 355
Measurements: 5 1/8" H x 10 1/4" W x 4 3/8" D
Condition Report: Spot of patina loss to speck in rear haunch, other very minor patina handling wear. Original patina remaining in exceptional condition.