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    Émile-Antoine Bourdelle. Autograph Letter and Autograph Letter Signed.
    1) AL. Two pages, in French, 6.25" x 7.75", Paris; April 12, 1922. In this letter to the French Jewish art critic Louis Vauxcelles (1870-1943), Bourdelle opens by stating, "In a short while I will give, alone, a modern sculpture!" He then expresses surprise that Vauxcelles has forgotten Bourdelle's artisan background and talent, citing his uncle, a stonemason, and father, a carpenter. Bourdelle recalls showing Vauxcelles the large stone [illegible] of which he's the architect and for which he carved out the main architectural masses with much support from the laborers, all without [illegible] but by proceeding [illegible] the project managers [English translation]: "I forged and carved the iron in my hometown without a sketch, just an idea; I carved the granite in Meuse [in text he writes in parentheses: "Architectural lion's head of Mount Alvear." Mount Alvear is in Argentina. Unclear what this phrase means]. I have three marble...heads at Mr. Olivier Sainsère's and another similar marble (Madame Michelet) [unknown] -- another of the same batch at the Petit Palais. Ask Abbal [André Abbal] if he [illegible] having told me at the Quai Malaquais where I was going to see a marble of myself and where I saw [either "those" or "his"] stones." 2) ALS. "Ant. Bourdelle." Two pages, in French, 6.25" x 7.75", [Paris]; n.d. [possibly written April 12-13, 1922]. In this letter to Vauxcelles, Bourdelle
    writes of the major works of Rodin's he completed in stone and marble. He continues, "Today my friend, I stick to this question only. You erred in identifying me as outside of, or against, taille directe [carving directly into the stone]. Two errors. It would be a shame, my friend, that I be placed beneath the quarry worker and simple artisans of modern altars for churches that [illegible] in Toulouse with the prestigious school of [illegible]-workers -- in a timeless style -- and without [illegible] on us -- being excellent and joyful companions. Your friendship will rectify, I'm sure."
    [Side note]: "I have never been an amateur. You are, therefore, dear friend, with me [illegible] that we know everything."
    [Post-script]: "All the sculptors [illegible] gathered around my marble [illegible] yesterday at the [illegible]. I will directly carve the stone before you [illegible] of 40 students whenever you like [illegible]."
    Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929), born Émile Antoine Bordelles, was an influential and prolific French sculptor and teacher. He was a student of Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), a teacher of Henri Matisse (1869-1954), and an important figure in the transition from the Beaux-Arts style to modern sculpture. His studio became the Musée Bourdelle, an art museum in Paris dedicated to his work.

    Condition: Letters have usual folds, with slight tears at the left hand edge of letter 1. Paper is fragile; otherwise good.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    4th Wednesday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 258

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