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Winner of the Cockfight and other works
Short Biography (French) | Short Biography (rough English translation)
Falguière’s Cockfight: full size versions | Falguière’s Cockfight: statuette versions
Women with Bows | Women with Birds | Falguière Memorial | Other Cockfights in Art
Falguière’s Winner of the Cockfight is featured in my adult story “The Here and Now”.
Do not follow this link if you find sexual content offensive.
Born: Toulouse, 1831. Died: Paris, 1900
While searching for biographical information on Falguière, I came across the following:
Après des études dans sa ville natale, ce sculpteur, d’origine modeste, vint à Paris où il fréquenta l’école des beaux-arts et travailla notamment dans l’atelier de Carrier-Belleuse. Grand prix de Rome en 1859, il participa régulièrement aux salons où il triompha en 1868 avec Tarcisius, martyr chrétien (acquis par l’État). Il sut adapter son talent vigoureux aux goûts du public et des élites de son temps, ce qui lui valut de nombreuses commandes de figures historiques : Gambetta à Cahors, l’amiral Courbet à Abbeville, Armand Barbès à Carcassonne, Charcot à la Salpétrière... des œuvres qui rappellent la manière de David d’Angers. C’est vers lui que se tourna la Société des gens de lettres, mécontente du Balzac qu’elle avait commandé à Rodin. Falguière représenta l’écrivain assis ; la sculpture fut exposée au Salon de 1899. Dans un autre registre, il exécuta de gracieuses figures féminines qui lui valurent le surnom de “poète du déshabillé”.
--taken from http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/actualites/celebrations2000/autres.htm [a long way down the page!]
Roughly translated (this is a tidied up version of a Babelfish translation... anyone remember that?!...
with thanks to NoraPhilippe who e-mailed a couple of corrections):
After studying in his birthplace, this sculptor, of modest origins, came to Paris where he attended the School of Fine Arts and worked in particular in the workshop of Carrier-Belleuse. As a winner of the Grand Prix the Grand Prix of Rome in 1859, he took part regularly in the shows where he triumphed in 1868 with Tarcisius, Christian Martyr (acquired by the State). He could adapt his vigorous talent to the tastes of the public and the elites of his time, which won him many commissions for historical figures: Gambetta in Cahors, Admiral Courbet in Abbeville, Armand Barbès in Carcassonne, Charcot in Salpétrière... These works are reminiscent of the style of David d’Angers. The Company of Men of Letters, dissatisfied with the statue of Balzac which it had commissioned from Rodin, turned to Falguière, who represented the writer sitting; the sculpture was exhibited at the Show of 1899. In another style, he produced gracious female figures which made critics call him the “Poet of the undressed”.
Incidentally, Rodin’s Balzac, referred to above, is now regarded as a masterpiece, but in its day it was clearly too radical for some tastes.
If anyone can supply any further information on Falguière, your e-mails would be appreciated.
All images below link to bigger versions, but in some cases not as big as I would have liked.
Falguière’s Cockfight: full size version
Falguière’s Cockfight: full size copy
in Jardin des Plantes, Toulouse
Photos 3 - 4 above link to Flickr originals. 1 is by Sweety Trotter; 3 - 4 are by urbanman; 5 - 8 are by Pierre Beteille (Monkeyman). The full-size versions of photos 1 and 5 - 8 are apparently no longer on Flickr.
The copy in Toulouse is extremely weathered and discoloured, as shown by the first three pictures, but makes for a striking composition when backlit against the park’s fountains as seen in Pierre Beteille’s photos.
Falguière’s Cockfight: statuette versions
Like most 19th Century French statues, Falguière’s Cockfight was reproduced in statuettes of various sizes. Unlike the full-size version, the statuettes conceal the boy’s genitalia with a small piece of drapery. One engraving of the statue depicts a long drape which hangs from the boy’s right wrist to the base, but this may have been added to the engraving as a piece of censorship.
(1) Full front right view, darkly patinated | (2) Full front right view, darkly patinated version 2 | (3) Full right view, darkly patinated version 3 | (4) Full right view (engraving) with added drapery | (5) Full back view | (6) Torso right view | (7) Torso back view | (8) Unusual overhead back view
Most of Falguière’s other works seem to have been female nudes from mythology,
as witness these examples:
Women with Bows
(1) Diana: full-size bronze outdoors, missing bow | (2) Diana: statuette
(3) Huntress [another version of Diana?]
Women with Birds
(1) Juno and the Peacock (plaster or marble) | (2) Juno and the Peacock (bronze) | (3) Leda and the Swan
Juno and the Peacock in Bulfinch’s Mythology
Leda and the Swan at the Greek Mythology Link
Memorial to Jean-Alexandre Falguière in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris
Details at right show the small reproductions of Juno and the Peacock and The Winner of the Cockfight on the memorial
And speaking of cockfights...
See also Jean Léon Gérôme’s painting Le Combat de Coq (The Cock Fight) (above left) and Sophie-Victoire Debry’s statue Cockfight (above right).
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