Dating barbedienne bronzes
As Barbedienne proudly announced on the front cover of his 1886 trade catalogue, his firm won many important medals at various Expositions Universelles including those at Vienna, Amsterdam and Anvers.At the Paris show of 1855 he was awarded a grande medal d'honneur and the grand prix in 1878.In 1847, they devised a process known as appareil réducteur that enabled accurate reductions of classical and contemporary sculptures to be reproduced to a chosen scale in bronze.Among the many subjects reproduced by the foundry were famous pieces after Michelangelo, Coyzevox, copies after the Antique as well as those by nineteenth century sculptors such as the animalier A-L Barye, David d'Angers and the latter's pupil Armand Toussaint.Also represented are Champlevé enamel and bronze works by Nicholas-Germain Charpentier, Constant Sévin, and Désiré Attarge.titled "Objects for the Collector," in which Barbedienne objects from our collection were featured for the first time in our publication and includes extensive essays and references on the history of the firm and of the objects offered.There he designed hardstone objects with elaborate mountings, the most famous of which was the Perseus and Andromeda Coupe, made for Henry Thomas Hope, exhibited at the 1855 Paris Exposition. The boss doesn’t refuse him anything, he sacrifices all the money for the unique desire to make masterpieces...boss is there, always attentive to his demands and gives him all the materials he needs. Barbedienne will not stop his partner in his sumptuous path as long as art is its goal”His designs were stylistically diverse and of the 2000 designs he executed while at the foundry he was particularly proud of his work for the chapel and tomb of Prince Albert at Frogmore House, the candelabras designed for the Kremlin and the bronzes for the Hotel de Mme Paiva in Paris.Champier further commented that Sévin was one of While he was capable of designing in many styles Sévin was aware of what it meant to carry out innovative designs, instead of simply making insipid copies of earlier pieces which was very much the prevailing approach among most manufacturers.
Ferdinand Barbedienne's casts are renowned for their exceptional high quality, much of his success resting upon the exploitation of an invention by his friend and partner Achille Collas (1795-1859).
Barbedienne's bronze foundry, which opened in 1839 soon became the most technically advance of its kind.
With a workforce of some 300 skilled labourers, the firm was responsible for casting many of Paris and the nation's public monuments, interior decorations and architectural bronzes.
Diplômée de l’École du Louvre, Florence Rionnet a soutenu une thèse de doctorat à l’université Paris-Sorbonne sur Le rôle de la Maison Barbedienne (1834-1954) dans la diffusion de la sculpture aux xixe et xxe siècles.
Spécialiste de la sculpture d’édition et de l’histoire du goût, elle a publié L’Atelier de moulage du musée du Louvre (1794-1928) ainsi que la correspondance entre la Maison Barbedienne et les artistes édités.