Henri Michel Chapu:
Sculpture "Joan of Arc" (1880), bronze edition


Henri Michel Chapu:
Sculpture "Joan of Arc" (1880), bronze edition


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Ars Mundi exclusive limited edition199 pieces | Numbered | Signed | Bronze edition | Patinated| Polished | Ø 20.5 cm | Height 28.5 cm | Weight approx 4.55 kg


Henri Michel Chapu: Sculpture "Joan of Arc" (1880), bronze edition

The hands folded, she sits there, focus - delicately and safely into the distance looking. First accused by the Inquisition and executed under adverse circumstances, was Joan of Arc (1412-1431) a French myth. In 1920 she was canonized by the Catholic Church.

Original: marble, Musée d'Orsay, Paris.

Sculpture in Bronze. Cast lost wax, finely hand patinatedted and polished. Limited edition 199 pieces, numbered and signed. Size: 20.5 x 28.5 x 20.5 cm (W / H / D). Weight approx 4.55 kg. Exclusive to Ars Mundi.

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The French sculptor and medalist made his debut being 22-year-old at a major exhibition of the Paris Salon in 1855. The art of Chapu (1833-1891) was very convincing and one of his works was awarded with the "Prix de Rome" by the Art Academy of Rome. This also included a multi-year scholarship for study in the Italian capital.

He was inspired by themes from ancient mythology and which he tried to link with the typical naturalistic style of the time. In this way his characters are idealistically elevated which can be seen in the famous "Statue of the cantata" that decorates the main entrance of the Opéra de Paris. Empathetic works by Chapus were popular. He received many orders to decorate public places. Among other, he created the statue of the jurist Pierre-Antoine Berryer for the Paris Palace of Justice.

An alloy of copper with other metals (especially with tin) used since ancient times.

Bronze casting:

When casting bronze, artist usually applies the lost-wax technique which is dating back more than 5000 years. It's the best, but also the most complex method of producing sculptures.

Sculpture "The Book Reader" by Ernst Barlachs is shown here as an example:

Ernst Barlach: Sculpture 'The book reader'

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 1

First, the artist forms a model of his sculpture. It is embedded in a liquid silicone rubber composition. Once the material has solidified, the model is cut out. The liquid wax is poured in the negative mould. After cooling down, the wax casting is removed from the mould, provided with sprues and dipped into ceramic mass. The ceramic mass is hardened in a kiln, and the wax flows out (lost mould).

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 2Now we finally have the negative form, into which the 1400 ° C hot molten bronze is poured. After the bronze had cooled down, the ceramic shell is broken off and the sculpture comes to light.

Ernst Barlach 'The Book Reader' - Lost Wax Casting Technique Part 3Now the sprues are removed, the surfaces are polished, patinated and numbered by the artist himself or, to his specifications, by a specialist. Thus, each casting becomes an original work

For lower-grade bronze castings, the sand casting method is often used which, however, does not achieve the results of more complex lost wax technique in terms of surface characteristics and quality.

Related links:
Sand casting

Designation for an art object (sculpture, installation), which is produced according to the will of the artist in multiple copies in a limited and numbered edition.

Artist's multiple contributed to "democratization" of art as the work was made available and affordable for a wider audience.