Baigneuse se coiffant (Femme les deux mains aux cheveux)
Bronze Height 37.5 cm Monogrammed signet 'AM' (joined) on the left side of the plinth. Without foundry mark. Cast by Florentin Godard from the edition of Ambroise Vollard, Paris. - Even black patina with a greenish tinge, partially lightened in bronze colour.
So far, the creation of this bronze by Aristide Maillol, whose motif is also often described as “Debout se coiffant (Standing figure arranging her hair)”, had usually been dated to 1907. However, Ursel Berger, of Berlin, has been able to conclude that there is actually no known basis for this. It was presumably modelled earlier, around 1905:
“The statuette is one of the sculptures that Aristide Maillol sold to the art dealer Ambroise Vollard. In the second contract between Maillol and Vollard, from 20 December 1905, it is - very probably - listed as 'femme les deux mains aux cheveux'. The figure was thus modelled no later than 1905. Vollard purchased it together with the right to create editions from it: 'avec le droit d'édition et de reproduction'. [...] As was customary in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the edition was unlimited. It is not known how many casts the edition contained. From 1909 the Vollard bronzes were apparently all produced using a sand-casting process at the Parisian foundry of Florentin Godard. Generally the bronzes do not display a foundry mark. Production ended in the 1930s. It has not yet been possible to date the casts. With its compact three-dimensionality and its even, enamel-like patina, the present bronze is typical of the Godard casts of Vollard's Maillol editions.” (Ursel Berger, expert report)
These Parisian bronzes from the edition of Ambroise Vollard belong to the series of early statuettes by Aristide Maillol, which were already in great demand among collectors of his time. The bronzes of this edition cast during Maillol's lifetime differ considerably from the posthumous, much more recent and numbered editions initiated by his estate.
We would like to thank Olivier Lorquin, Musée Maillol, Fondation Dina Vierny, Paris, for kind inspection and information confirming the cast as Vollard edition.
With a certificate by Ursel Berger, Berlin, dated 30 August 2016
Galerie Vömel, Dusseldorf, acquired there by the former owner in 1967; formerly collection Prof. Dr. Heinz Kirchhoff, Göttingen, Estate
Hans Albert Peters (ed.), Maillol, exhib. cat. Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Stuttgart 1978, no. 34 with illus.; Stuttgart 1980 (Galerie Valentien Stuttgart, Skulpturengarten), Aristide Maillol, Bronzeskulpturen, p. 17 with illus.; Ursel Berger/Jörg Zutter (ed.), Aristide Maillol, Munich 1996 (exhib. cat. Georg-Kolbe-Museum Berlin/ Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne/ Gerhard Marcks-Haus, Bremen/ Städtische Kunsthalle Mannheim 1996/1997), no. 55 with illus. p. 94; Dina Vierny (ed.), Aristide Maillol, exhib. cat. Palais des Congrès Perpignan, Paris 2000, cat. no. 41 with colour illus.
Neuss 1961 (Clemens-Sels-Museum im Obertor), Aristide Maillol, Kleinplastiken und Graphik, cat. no. 9 ("Stehendes Mädchen, sich die Haare bindend")