Studio: international art — 78.1919

Page: 176
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https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1919c/0182
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A GREAT FRENCH SCULPTOR: EMILE BOURDELLE

"PETIT GENIE AU MASQUE’’’
(THEATRE DES CHAMPS-ELYSliES,
PARIS). BY EMILE BOURDELLE

others, in the war. His Bacchante is full of
grace and Latin charm but, unlike most of
his works, it is a little over-realistic ; the
Epopee Polonaise is full of dramatic beauty,
but is too formal. From these works it is
evident that Bourdelle has not yet arrived
at the perfect balance between realism and
decorative simplification ; the tug of war is
still going on, and out of the sweat of this
struggle, from time to time, there appear
masterpieces of great beauty. a 0
In his native town of Montauban he has
done a work in memory of those who fell in
1870-71 ; of this work Rodin has written
the following criticism : “ Here we have an
epic, one of the finest efforts of modern
sculpture. It is remarkable how much
grandeur and unity this monument has,
owing to the wise distribution of the main
essential masses. It is the exclusion of all
the ordinary methods common to modern
academic works, and the freshness and
176

spontaneity of hand and eye that makes this
monument of Bourdelle's like a work of a
great period. Hence it is not unnatural
that Bourdelle has offended all those who,
as a result of modern education, win
easy successes by pandering to modern
taste. On the other hand, Bourdelle
really has regenerated modern sculpture
in so far as it is possible for one man to
do so." 0 0 0 0 0

Bourdelle, unlike so many of our artists,
has not lived outside and apart from this ;
he has felt passion, horror, the sacrifice
and the glory of it all; he is still in the full
vigour of manhood, and he has already
behind him years and years of experience
of monumental art. It is certain, therefore,
that France will employ him on some war
memorial, and that he will produce some-
thing finer than all the fine things he has
done in the past. 0000
Neville Lytton
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