AIME-JULES DALOU (FRENCH 1838-1902)
Boulonnaise portant son enfant, circa 1895
bronze with medium brown patina
height: 35 cm (13 3/4 in.)
signed Dalou on base, with inscribed and stamped foundry marks Susse Fres Editeurs Paris on base
Jules Dalou never shied away from showcasing his working class sympathies in his sculpture, even under the authoritarian rule of the Second Empire. Dalou excelled in his studies at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs (then the Petite Ecole) and later at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris. Despite the undeniable talent shown by the young artist, who first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1861, Dalou was never awarded the Prix de Rome due to his politics. Later, having been a prominent supporter of the Paris Commune, Dalou was forced to flee the country and spend eight years in exile in England. There he taught at various institutions, influenced the British post-classical school of sculpture, and created monuments for important patrons including Queen Victoria. Having received pardon in 1879, Dalou returned to France where he would go on to create some of his most spectacular and moving pieces, including this bronze from circa 1895. A terracotta version of this piece resides in the collection of the Petit Palais in Paris.