French Sculpture Census

crédits photo : Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
© artiste : public domain

BERNHARDT, Sarah
Paris 1844 - Paris 1923

Exécutant: Thiébaut

Encrier Fantastique (Autoportrait en sphinx)
Fantastic Inkwell (Self-Portrait as a Sphinx)

1880
bronze

désignation : autre
31,75 x 19,05 x 22,86
en haut de la base, sur la gauche : SARAH-BERNHARDT
sur le côté gauche de la base : 1880
sur le bord droit de la base : THIEBAUT FRERES / FONDEURS / PARIS

N° d'inv. : 1973.551a-d

Credit Line : Helen and Alice Colburn Fund

Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts

www.mfa.org

Historique

  • 1880, peut-être propriété de l'artiste et exposé à l'Union League Club à New York (ainsi que le suggère Judith Applegate, MFA Bulletin 73, no. 369 (1975), p. 37, l'encrier du MFA peut être le troisième exemplaire fondu, exposé à New York en 1880. Voir "Sarah Bernhardt Souvenir, Including The Authorized Catalogue of Her Paintings and Sculpture" (New York, 1880), cat. no. 18)
  • importateur à Long Island (cf une lettre de la Shepherd Gallery au MFA, 9 octobre 1973 : l'encrier a été acheté "chez un importateur qui n'a pas donné d'élément significatif sur l'historique de la pièce")
  • 1973, New York, Galerie Shepherd
  • 1973, 14 novembre, vendu par la Galerie Shepherd au MFA

Bibliographie

  • Museum's website, 23 February 2012 and 20 March 2012
  • 1975 Applegate
    Judith Applegate, Boston Museum Bulletin, vol. LXXIII, no. 369, 1975, p. 36-37, repr.
  • 2008 Oklahoma
    Paris 1900, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 2008, p. 47, repr.

Exposition

  • 1973 New York
    Western European Bronzes of the 19th Century, New York, Shepherd Gallery, 1973
  • 1980-1981 Los Angeles/Minneapolis/Detroit/Indianapolis
    The Romantics to Rodin. French Nineteenth-Century Sculpture from North American Collections, Organized and edited by Peter Fusco & Horst W. Janson, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 4-May 25, 1980; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, June 25-September 21, 1980; The Detroit Institute of Arts, October 27, 1980-January 4, 1981; Indianapolis Museum of Art, February 22-April 29, 1981, no. 28, p. 141-143, 142, repr.
  • 1987 Grinnell
    A View of Her Own: Images of Women by Women Artists, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA, October 2-31, 1987, no. 5, p. 17, repr.
  • 2000-2001 Washington/London
    Art Nouveau, 1890-1914: Sources and Cities, Washington, National Gallery of art, September 30, 2000-January 28, 2001; London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2001, no. 117, p. 458, repr.
  • 2005-2006 New York
    Sarah Bernhardt - the Art of High Drama, New York, Jewish Museum, December 2, 2005-April 2, 2006, p. 50, repr.
  • 2006-2007 Nagoya
    Five Centuries of European Portraiture, Nagoya/Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, September 16, 2006-February 4, 2007

Oeuvres en rapport

Autres exemplaires en bronze :
- Londres, Ferrers Gallery,
- Londres, collection de la Reine Mère Mary.

Commentaire



Museum's label text, 2011:
Although primarily known for her illustrious acting career, Sarah Bernhardt was an accomplished artist. "La Divine Sarah" was encouraged in her painting and sculpture by such eminent artists as Alfred Stevens and Gustave Doré. A departure from her other more academic sculpture, this unusual self portrait has affinities with Symbolist painting of the day. In 1879 Bernhardt was rehearsing for the role of Blanche de Chelles in Octave Feuillet's play Le Sphinx which may have influenced the theme of this work. The rendering of a part woman, part animal is reminiscent of art nouveau jewellery by René Lalique whom she patronized.