Robert WLERICK (1882 - 1944)
Thérèse with Chemise, or Standing Bather

Bronze Proof #4/10
Lost wax cast by Claude Valsuani
H. 43.5, W. 19, D. 11.5 cm


- Kunstler, Charles, “Wlérick,” L’Amour de l’art (The Love of Art), October, 1928, p. 384-389.
- La Bande à Schnegg, Paris, Bourdelle Museum, June-September, 1974, Paris, Bourdelle Museum, 1974, cat. N°174.
- Gilis, S.B., Vie et œuvre du sculpteur Robert Wlérick (The Life and Work of the Sculptor Robert Wlérick), 1978, Master’s thesis, Bordeaux III.
- Robert Wlérick (1882-1944), Rodin Museum, Paris, March 31-June 28,1982; Despiau-Wlérick Museum, Mont-de-Marsan, July 17 –September 26, 1982, cat. 37 (proof n°5/10).
- Robert Wlérick (1882-1944), Despiau-Wlérick Museum, Mont-de-Marsan, July 17-September 26, 1991.
- Wlérick, Saint-Tropez, The Annonciade Museum, March 26-June 20, 1994.
- Robert Wlérick, Actes du colloque de 1995 (Papers from the 1995 Colloquium), Mont-de-Marsan Museums.
- Robert Wlérick, études, esquisses et dessins (Robert Wlérick, Studies, Sketches, and Drawings), Despiau-Wlérick Museum, Mont-de-Marsan, June 24-September 5, 1994; Bourdelle Museum, Paris, February 1-May 14, 1995; Ste-Croix Museum, Poitiers, October 6-December 10, 1995; Fine Arts Museum of Chambéry, February 1-April 30, 1996.


In 1928, Thérèse, an 18 year-old woman from Normandy, entered into service with the Wlérick family in the 20th arrondissement in Paris, and she offered to model for the sculptor. Robert Wlérick made several sculptures based on this robust, redheaded young woman. Eight of them were shown at the Rodin Museum in 1982,[1] including Thérèse Crouching (1928, h. 32 cm), Thérèse with Chemise, which is the version presented here (1928, h. 43 cm),[2] Hellenic Calm (1928, h. 59 cm), Ablutions (1928-1929, h. 61 cm), and Meditation (1928-1929, h. 51 cm), as well as Thérèse: Torso (1930-1931, h. 69 cm),[3]and a portrait, Thérèse (1930-1934, h. 37 cm), both of which were taken from Meditation. And finally, in 1933, he sculpted The Thought (h. 120 cm), which is a draped version of the large Meditation.

These works display the variety of his research into very different aesthetic approaches. While sensuality dominates Thérèse Crouching, Ablutions, and Meditation, construction and the arrangement of planes are the principal concerns of Hellenic Calm and this work, Thérèse with Chemise. All emanate an introspective calm.

In this work, Wlérick “evokes the social phenomenon of a new feminine type that emerged after the war and the Roaring Twenties, one marked by a boyish insouciance.”[4] This figure, her feet firmly planted in a slightly contrapposto posture, belongs to a collection of other models, both feminine and masculine, that Wlérick executed after 1926, such as Gavroche and Heracles, and continued with Dedette in 1939 and the rough for Victor in 1940.

A plaster of Thérèse with Chemise is held in the collection of the Mont-de-Marsan Museum, and the bronze proofs numbered 5 and 6 are held in private collections.

[1] Rodin Museum, 1982, cat. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 44, 45, 51. It should be noted that figures 42 and 43 are enlarged and reworked versions of Hellenic Calm and Meditiation.
[2] Rodin Museum, 1982, cat. 37, though it’s another proof, #5/10, that was shown.
[3] One is in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, and another is in the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris.
[4] S. B. Gilis, 1978, p. 52.