Léon-Ernest DRIVIER (1878 - 1951)
Lost wax cast by Montagutelli
Signed: DRIVIER 15
H. 16 ; W. 9 ; D. 12 cm
-René Letourneur, La sculpture française contemporaine, Les documents d’art, Monaco, 1944.
-Jacques Baschet, Sculpteurs de ce temps, Nouvelles Editions Françaises, Paris, 1946.
-Elisabeth Lebon, Dictionnaire des fondeurs de bronze d’art, France 1890-1950, Marjon éditions, 2003.
With this statuette, Drivier distanced himself from his better-known classic, hieratic style, which can be seen in such works as his bronze relief, Harmony, from 1912-13 and the large stone relief The Joy of Life, which has ornamented one of the fountains at the Trocadéro since 1937. Seated Woman presents a distinct feminine type, both muscled and sensuous, and a distinctive contorted posture. Both elements are reproduced identically in the woman in Deluge, a non-dated work in pewter, and in the figure in The Consolation. In turn, the passionate contours of these three figures are inspired by Rodin, for whom Drivier worked as an assistant. The treatment of the feet—large and forthright—also echoes Rodin’s principles. Drivier’s choice of Montagutelli as a founder also speaks to his connection with Rodin, as Montagutelli also often worked with him. In this proof, he delivered an irreproachable bronze; the imprint is still fresh, the grain tight, and the patina still beautiful, despite a few spots of wear. Montagutelli worked from 1906 or 1909 to 1923. The 15 next to Drivier’s signature indicates a date rather than the number in the edition, as the convention of numbering was still in its early stages.