Rare early bronze cast ( ca.end of 1840-s) by world-renowed French sculptor Isidore Jules Bonheur (1827 - 1901). The artist was born in 1827 in Bordeaux, France. He was an important animal sculptor, the brother of Rosa Bonheur , famous French animalist painter and brother-in-low to Hyppolite Peyrol, the founder. The Bonheur´s were a well known family of painters, sculptors and artists. Isidore studied painting under titulage of his father at a very early age. He moved on to sculpture in 1848 with his Salon entry of a plaster study of an African Horseman attacked by a Lion. The artist continued exhibiting his sculpture throughout the years, both at the Salon in Paris as well as the Royal Academy in London , and winning the Gold Medall on the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1889. Allmost of his and his sisters´ casts were produced by Hyppolite Peyrol whose extremely small( less than 1/16" ) foundry mark is often very difficult to locate. It´s known also, his bronze sculptures are always signed I.Bonheur and the earliest Peyrol casts from the late 1840´s are unmarked. We are sure, our figure created in this early time.
Isidore Bonheur´s bronzes range from domestic cattle and sheep to wild bears and lions as well as equestrian and hunting groups, all done in a very natural and realistic manner. Many of his bronzes were done as compliments to his sisters´ works. These sheep and cattle models by brother and sisters were done as pairs. Though somewhat overshadowed by his flarnboyant and outspoken elder sister Rosa, Isidore was nevertheless a highly accomplished sculptor and his works rank among the finest of the French Animalier School. The Perigueux Museum exhibits a life-size version of his eight point stag. Among the monuments that he cast where his sister´s memorial statue of Fontainbleau completed in the last two years of his life, and two stone lions for the Palais de Justice. Isidore Bonheur´s Royal commissions extended beyond France where he was commissioned to produce two monumental Bulls for the Palace of the Sultan in Constantinople as well as works for King Edward VII of England.
Literature: The life of Isidore Bonheur is documented in the following books: Les Animaliers by Jane Horswell (1971); The animaliers by James Mackay (1973); Animals in bronze by Christopher Payne (1986); Bronzes of the 19 century by Pierre Kjellberg (1994); Dictionnaire des Peintres et Sculpteurs by E.Benezit (1966); Dictionnaire de sculpteurs de l´ecole Francaise by Stanaslas Lami (1914); Thieme/Becker"General Artist Dictionary", Leipzig, 1999.
Inscription: signed I.Bonheur on the base (see photo)
Technique: Coloured bronze . Wooden platform.
Measurements: w 14 " x h 15 1/3" (35,5 x 39 cm)
Condition: in very good condition for the age.