Paul Manship

Paul Manship, “Actaeon”, 1925, Gilt Bronze, Alexis Rudier Fondeur, 120.7 x 130.8 x 33.7 cm, Cooper Hewitt Museum

Born in December of 1885 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Paul Manship was an American sculptor whose subjects and modern style were largely inspired by classical sculpture. After attending Mechanical Arts High School, he took evening classes at the St. Paul Institute School of Art from 1892 to 1903, but left to work as a designer and illustrator. In 1905 Manship enrolled briefly in the Art Students League in New York City under Hermon Atkins MacNeil, a sculptor trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. 

Soon after his arrival to New York, Paul Manship became an assistant to stone sculptor Solon Borglum, whom he credited as the master who had most influenced him. With money saved, he enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1907-08 under sculptor Charles Grafly. Moving back to New York, Manship worked at the studio of Viennese sculptor Isidore Konti, where he modeled a decorative relief entitled “Man with Wild Horses”, later shown at the National Academy of Design in 1908.

In 1909 at the age of twenty-three, Paul Manship received a three-year scholarship, the coveted American Prix de Rome, to study at the American Academy in Rome. His early work was influenced by Rodin’s expressive style but, after traveling throughout Italy and Greece, he developed an appreciation for Hellenistic statues and for Egyptian, Assyrian, and Minoan artwork. This affinity for archaic work influenced Manship’s unified linear style of sculpture for which he is well known; his novel approach represented a break from the popular Beaux-Arts style of his former teachers. 

After three years abroad, Manship settled in New York City in 1912, where he began a successful career that would last fifty years. His arresting sculptures, with their freely modeled simple forms and dramatic gestures, were in demand in the New York art world. In February of 1913 Manship had a solo exhibition of his work at New York’s Architectural League. An instant success with critics and the public, it resulted in many private and public commissions. 

This success of Manship’s solo show was followed with two more exhibitions of his work in November of 1913, moving his career briskly forward. A show at the Berlin Photographic Company in 1914 resulted in the sale of almost one hundred of Manship’s bronze pieces. He was honored by his peers for this achievement with a gold medal at the San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915.

Some of Paul Manship’s most notable works are: the set of monumental bronze gates at the entrance to the New York Zoological Park in the Bronx area of New York, erected as a memorial to Paul Rainey; the Prometheus Fountain in Rockefeller Center, New York City, which ultimately became his signature work despite his disappointment with the subject; and the “Time and Fates Sundial” with the accompanying four “Moods of Time”, executed in plaster of Paris, for the reflecting pool of the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. 

Paul Manship, at the top of his profession, was bestowed with many honors: membership in the Academia Nacional de las Bellas Artes in Argentina in 1944; membership in Paris’ Academie des Beaux-Arts in 1946; membership in l’Accademia di San Luca in Rome in 1952, the gold medal for sculpture by the National Institute of Arts and Letters in New York City in 1945; membership in the French Legion of Honor; and election to president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1948.

“I’m not especially interested in anatomy, though naturally I’ve studied it. And, although I approve generally of normally correct proportions, what matters is the spirit which the artist puts into his creation—the vitality, the rhythm, the emotional effect.” —Paul Manship

Juan Coderch and Javier Malavia

Bronze Sculptures by Juan Coderch and Javier Malavia

Born in 1959 in Castellar del Vallés, Barcelona, sculptor Juan Coderch graduated from Barcelona’s Faculty of Fine Art in 1984. Sculptor Javier Malavia, born in 1970, in Oñati, Guipúzcoa, graduated from Valencia’s San Carlos Faculty of Fine Art in 1993, Discovering similarities in their sculptural art, they started the common project Coderch & Malavia in 2015, following in the tradition of figurative work by master sculptors such as Rodin, Mailol, and Bourdelle. 

Working from their studio and exhibition space in Valencia, Coderch and Malavia both share in the hands-on process of a single piece, each contributing to the creation of the sculpture. The figurative sculpture’s theme is taken from the common interests of both sculptors, particularly the theater, mythology, and the bullfight, with man and his life as the central focus.

Working in clay or wax initially, Coderch and Malavia’s finished works are cast in bronze. They model the human body in a classical tradition, featuring figures full of tension and movement, frozen in time but still depicting the intensity of their lives, and the myths these lives conjure up. 

Since the very beginning of their project, Coderch and Malavia have been seen as prominent figurative artists. For their 2017 “Hamlet”, they received the Reina Sofia Painting and Sculpture Prize; and their 2019 “Swan Dance” won First Prize at the 14th ARC International Salon Competition, held at Sotheby’s in New York.  

Coderch & Malavia have participated in more than fifteen collective and solo exhibitions in France, the United States, Mexico, Greece, and Italy, among others. Their bronze works are now a part of private collections in various countries of Europe, of Asia and America.

Giovanni Francesco Susini

Giovanni Francesco Susini, “The Farnese Bull”, 1613, Bronze, 46.5 x 38 x 38 cm

Giovanni Francesco Susini, known as Gianfrancesco, was born in Florence, Italy, in 1585. He was trained as a junior member in the Florence workshop of Flemish sculptor Giambologna, where his uncle was the principal  bronze-caster. In 1624-1626, Gianfrancesco spent time in Rome where he experienced both the classical and the emerging statuary of the Baroque movement; however, he had already established for himself a Mannerist style of exaggeration and tension in his work.

Gianfrancesco’s first independent commission, by the Medici Grand Dukes, was a bronze bas-relief for a chapel altar in 1614. For a sculpture to be placed in the Medici family’s Boboli Gardens, he produced a small figurative bronze with thrashing figures set on a small oval plinth. Gianfrancesco also contributed two other works to the Boboli Gardens; “Cupid Breaking a Heart with a Hammer” and “Cupid Shooting an Arrow”, both set in the Vasca dell’Isola, or the Island Basin of the Gardens.  In 1615 for the main entrance of the Santissima Annunziata, he created two containers of bronze for holy water, acquasantiere, to be placed on the columns. 

Gianfrancesco’s designs usually employ complicated, balanced relationships of figures, usually two or three, meant to be appreciated from multiple viewpoints. All of his bronze smaller works, including the table sculptures, were finely cast and finished, viewable from all sides. 

Few sculptures by Gianfrancesco bear his signature. A signed marble statue “Bacchus and a Young Satyr” is exhibited in the Louvre Museum; the 1627 “Abduction of Helen” now in the Los Angeles Getty Museum; the 1639 “Venus Burning the Arrows of Love”, the 1638 “Venus Chastising Love”, and the “Gaul Committing Suicide”, all now in the Louvre. Gianfrancesco’s small bronze “David with the Head of Goliath” is now at the Liechtenstein Museum in Venice. Both sculptor and caster, Giovanni Francesco Susini died in Florence, Italy, on October 17, 1653.

Inspired by the ancient marble sculpture of the Farnese Bull excavated from the Baths of Caracall in 1545, Gianfrancesco made his bronze group “The Farnese Bull” in 1613. The group was expertly cast in several components, invisibly joined together, and engraved. Several castings of this work were made, located now at the Galleria Borghese, noted in the collection with a ebony pedestal in 1625, and at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg; 

The rather obscure myth behind this sculpture can be located in Lemprière’s “Classical Dictionary” published in 1788: 

“Dirce was a woman whom Lycus, King of Thebes, married after he had divorced Antiope. When Antiope became pregnant by Jupiter, Dirce suspected her husband of infidelity to her bed, and imprisoned Antiope, whom she tormented with the greatest cruelty. Antiope escaped from her confinement, and brought forth Amphion and Zethus on mount Cithæron. When these children were informed of the cruelties to which their mother had been exposed, they besieged Thebes, put Lycus to death, and tied the cruel Dirce to the tail of a wild bull, which dragged her over rocks and precipices, and exposed her to the most poignant pains, till the gods, pitying her fate, changed her into a fountain, in the neighborhood of Thebes.”

Henry Moore

Henry Moore OM CH, “Two Piece Sculpture No. 7 Pipe”, 1966, Casting Date Unknown, Bronze, 432 x 839 x315 cm., Tate Museum, London

“The Two Piece Sculpture no. 7 Pipe” is one of a series of two-piece sculptures made during the 1960s that relate to Moore’s interest in bone forms. The projecting beam that bridges the two parts has been interpreted by critics as a phallic appendage, which has led the sculpture to be seen as a highly abstract representation of sexual coupling.

This sculpture was developed from a small maquette made in plaster in 1966. By this time Moore had established a practice of testing out his designs for sculptures by making small three-dimensional models as opposed to drawing his ideas on a page. It is probable that Moore made the small model for this sculpture in his maquette studio in the grounds of his home, Hoglands, at Perry Green in Hertfordshire. This studio housed his ever growing collection of found objects, the shapes of which often served as starting points for Moore’s formal experiments in three dimensions.

In “Two Piece Sculpture No. 7 Pipe”, Moore combined his interest in the human figure with his concurrent explorations of interlocking forms. After separated the body into two distinct parts in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Moore then began thinking about ways in which separate sculptural parts could intersect or interlock to create a single unit while maintaining their individuality. These ideas came to fruition in works such as “Locking Piece”, 1963-64, in which two differently shaped elements intersect. According to Bowness, it was the relationship between the two parts of “Two Piece Sculpture No. 7 Pipe” that was of interest to Moore, and the subsequent omission of the often-used term ‘Reclining Figure’ from its title reflected these concerns.

Dragon Fish Shachihoko

Artist Unknown, Dragon Fish Shachihoko, Edo Period, Bronze, 160 x 86 x 43 cm, Private Collection

This bronze Shachihoko, or roof decoration, is in the form of a dragon fish with bushy eyebrows and whiskers, flared nostrils, a spiny dorsal fin, and four large pectoral fins. His body, covered with the scales of a carp, has a large flared tail fin. With only remnants of the gilding existing, the dragon fish has weathered into a green patina. 

Originally completely gilded, this Shachihoko would have adorned the gable end of either a temple roof or a samurai dwelling. Attributed with the power to control rain, this creature was thought to provide protection from fire. 

Source: brandtasianart.com

Marshall Fredericks

Marshall Fredericks, “Fountain of Eternal Life (Cleveland War Memorial)”, Bronze, Civic Center, Cleveland, Ohio

Marshall Fredericks, born of Scandinavian descent, settled in Cleveland, Ohio, with his family early in life. He graduated fromthe Cleveland School of art in 1930 and journeyed abroad on a fellowship to study with Swedish sculptor Carl Miller. After World War II, he worked continuously on his numerous commissions for fountains, memorials, free-standing sculptures, reliefs, and portraits in bronze and other materials. Fredericks worked on this monument for a period of nineteen years.

The fountain is composed of a large granite basin in which water will continually move and spray. Centered within is the 10 ½ foot sculptured bronze sphere representing the Universe as man has imagined it. Its design contains symbols of Eternal Life and Spirit derived from ancient myths. Set in the basin rim are polished bronze plaques containing the names of over five thousand men and women who gave their lives for their country. Carved in the basin is the biblical  inscription from Psalm 36:9, “For with Thee is the Fountain of Life; In Thy Light shall we see light.”

Four monolithic Norwegian emerald pearl granite carvings, each 4 by 12 feet and weighing approximately ten tons each, are set at four points and depict the four corners of the earth from which come the major religions. The monumental bronze central figure, cast in Norway, towers 43 feet above the basin. This figure expresses the main theme of the Fountain, namely, the spirit of mankind rising out of the encircling flames of war, pestilence, and the destructive elements of life, reaching and ascending to a new understanding of life.

The monument was commissioned in 1945 at the end of World War II. The Cleveland Press promoted the project, raising $250,000 in donations from private citizens and various organizations. The groundbreaking at the site of the Civic Center Mall in Cleveland, Ohio, occurred in 1955. The initial dedication was on Memorial Day of 1964. The monument had two more rededications in 2004 and 2014, at which time additinal names of fallen soldiers were added.

Renee Sintenis

Renee Sintenis, “Donkey”, Bronze, 1927, Overall: 30 ½ × 9 × 26 ½ Inches, Detroit Institute of Art

From her early years spent in a small rural town, Renee Sintenis felt drawn to animals, and her sculptures of them formed the basis of her later popularity. from 1908-1912, she studied at the Kunsigewerbeschule in Berlin under Leo von König who instructed her in painting and drawing. She learned the fundamentals of sculpture from Wilhelm Haverkamp.

Her early sculptures are characterized by stylized forms and smooth surfaces. Statues of femal nudes apperar alongside the animal sculptures, such as those of foals, deer and donketys. In the mid 1920′s her style changed to one evoking a sense of natural movements, with rough surfaces emphasizing vitality. Her sculptures of athletes included boxers and football players. Sintenis won the Olympia Prize in 1932 for her sculpture of runner Nurmi.

Bronze Rabbit Okimono

Artist Unknown, Bronze Rabbit Okimono

Okimono in the form of an alarmed plump rabbit, made of cast and cold chiseled bronze with touches of gilt. This okimono is unsigned. It was probably cast in the late Edo period of Japan (early 19th century).

The bronze and gilding have taken on a warm softness with age. The rabbit is five inches high by four and a half inches long and three inches wide.

The Elm’s Fountain

The Marble and Bronze Fountain at The Elms, Newport, Rhode Island

Located at 367 Bellevue Avenue, The Elms was completed in 1901 for the coal baron Edward Julius Berwind. The steel-framed, brick-partitioned $1.5m estate with a limestone facade was built to the design of Horace Trumbauer, whose design was based on the Château d’Asnières in Asnieres, France.

The property is a National Historic Landmark with one of the great classical revival gardens in America, containing almost 40 species of trees.  It is also one of a few remaining examples in America of an estate with a Classical French Revival style carriage house set in a period garden accented by elaborate Italian bronze and marble fountains.

James Havard Thomas

James Havard Thomas, “Thysis”, 1912, Tate Britain Museum, London

James Havard Thomas trained in Paris and then in 1889 moved to Italy, where he lived for seventeen years. In 1905 he sent a male nude ‘Lycidas’ to the Royal Academy, where its rejection caused a scandal. In 1912 Havard Thomas returned to the theme with ‘Thyrsis’. The title comes from the poem of 1866 by Matthew Arnold of that name, and Arnold’s poem had itself been based on Milton’s ‘Lycidas’ written in 1637.

Thyrsis was an ancient Greek shepherd. Arnold chose to commemorate in his poem a friend from Oxford as this pastoral character. The shepherd’s pipe was for Arnold a symbol of his own youth, and Havard Thomas’s figure itself commemorates Italy and classical art. This bronze was cast in 1948, from the original in wax.

Romain Langlois

Stone and Bronze Sculptures by Romain Langlois

A self-taught sculptor, Romain Langlois studied medical books and anatomical charts to understand the human body, building his first sculptures using only plaster and clay. Seeking a more permanent material, Langlois turned to bronze, a metal he now incorporates into works that are inspired by nature rather than man.

His pieces visually pull apart the natural objects that surround us—building works that appear as bisected rocks, boulders, and tree trunks. These sculptures showcase glistening bronze protruding from their insides, unleashing the perceived inner energy of each object.

Keith Jellum

Keith Jellum, “Transcendence”, Bronze, South Park Building, Portland, Oregon

Keith Jellum hand fabricates and casts large scale sculptures and unique weathervanes in bronze, copper, and steel. Drawing on animistic themes, he creates one-of-a-kind artworks for both public and private locations.

Transcendence is an outdoor sculpture by Keith Jellum, located in Portland, Oregon, United States. It depicts a fish flying through the brickwork above Southpark Seafood at the northwestern corner of Southwest Salmon Street and Southwest Park Avenue in Downtown Portland. The sculpture measures 11 feet (3.4 m) long and is made of hand forged and welded bronze.

Dustin Payne

Dustin Payne, “Prairie Allies”, Bronze Monument

Dustin Payne represents the third generation of professional western sculptors in his family, so it comes as no surprise that the trade was a natural path for him. On his mother’s side he is a descendant of Hiram Daugherty and Mary Jane Goodnight, the sister of Texas Cattle King, Charlie Goodnight. Goodnight and Oliver Loving brought the first longhorns across country from Texas, inaugurating the cattle drive era.

As a child, Dustin enjoyed the drawings and books of Will James and was heavily influenced by the historical nature of his father and grandfather’s work. He feels fortunate that he has always been surrounded by such great artists and mentors, but more-so by being brought up around horses and ranching. His passion for the Western lifestyle and Western American history fuels his imagination to preserve the past in the art that he creates. He currently resides and works in Cody, Wyoming.