“Capture” by Villanis Emmanuel

(Lille 1858-1914)

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Marble bust of a defiant woman held hostage entitled “Capture”. Signed for the artist and marked for the “Société française des sculptures d’art”.

Size: H 60cm – base 19cm x 18cm

French school of the Art Nouveau period.

The artist’s marbles are very rare on the art market.

Lit: Emmanuel Villanis (1858-1914) is a French sculptor, master of the Art Nouveau movement. He comes from a family of Italian origin. In 1861, his parents returned to Italy to settle in Piedmont. They had fled Italy because the war of independence broke out, under the threat of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1871, the young man enrolled at the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts in Turin, where he studied under the sculptor Odoardo Tabacchi. As soon as he finished his studies, his master encouraged him to exhibit, which he did by presenting his bust “Alda” in Milan in 1881. He fled Italy again because of the war of independence. In 1885, Villanis moved to Montmartre, a district of Paris that he never left. The artist’s fame was built on his production of female figures. Aida, Judith, Dalila, Lucretia, Cinderella: the work of Emmanuel Villanis brings together the great heroines of opera, literature, mythology and of the Bible. Villanis also represents certain types like the Bohemian, the Chatelaine, or the Parisian, and several allegories, including Painting and Sculpture.

Villanis’ sculptures are mainly made of bronze, sometimes chryselephantine, and are usually titled on the base. The mix of patina’s adds to the finesse of the line. He works mainly with the founders “la Société des Bronzes de Paris” and with Eugène Blot. He exhibited eleven times at the Salon des artistes français between 1886 and 1910, Villanis also participated in the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris, and in the 1893 Chicago Exhibition.


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