'Au But' (To the Goal)  - A Very Fine Patinated Bronze Figural Group
'Au But' (To the Goal)  - A Very Fine Patinated Bronze Figural Group
'Au But' (To the Goal)  - A Very Fine Patinated Bronze Figural Group
'Au But' (To the Goal)  - A Very Fine Patinated Bronze Figural Group
'Au But' (To the Goal)  - A Very Fine Patinated Bronze Figural Group
'Au But' (To the Goal)  - A Very Fine Patinated Bronze Figural Group

ALFRED BOUCHER (1850-1934)

'Au But' (To the Goal) - A Very Fine Patinated Bronze Figural Group

c. 1890 France

Offered by Adrian Alan

Price Upon Request
Request Information Call Dealer
Listing Information
Views
29
Enquiries
0
Favourites
0
'Au But' (To the Goal) - A Very Fine Patinated Bronze Figural Group, by Alfred Boucher, raised on a rouge griotte marble base.

This iconic patinated bronze sculpture by Alfred Boucher depicts three athletes in dynamic pose, thrusting forward with their arms outstretched to reach the finishing line.

A sensation in its own time, Boucher captures in ‘Au But’ a powerful kinetic dynamism. The contradiction between the expansive drive of the figures, with their outstretched arms and elongated torsos and the straitened confinement of the base, upon which the athletes precariously balance, creates a dynamic tension that causes the viewer’s eye to be constantly moved and challenged.

‘Au But’ also displays an interesting paradox between notions of modernity and classicism in the transition of sculptural themes of the period, and confirms Boucher’s place as a true academic master. The movement and forcefulness of the figures drawn directly from life are, in a way, a precursor to a true modernist approach, while the theme and even the captured energy, reference ancient classical sculpture such as Myron’s 'Discobolus'.

Boucher's friend, the explorer Gabriel Bonvalot posed for the initial plaster composition, entitled Les Coureurs, which was exhibited at the Prix de Salon in 1886 to critical acclaim and awarded a medal première classe. He was awarded with a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1889. The contemporary critic Hippolyte Parigot commented on the bold audacity of the artist:

Ils sont trois qui touchent au but, qui y aspirent, qui y tendent de tous leurs muscles, de toute leur âme, par un farouche envolement des jambes, une avide projection des bras, et un élan musculaire de tout le corps, dans un mouvement inouï.

Following the success of the plaster version of ‘Au But’, at the 1886 Salon, the French state commissioned a life-size bronze to be cast. The finished cast was exhibited at the Salon in 1887 (no. 3675), before being placed in the Luxembourg Gardens. Such was the popularity of this work; it was edited by some of the leading foundries of the day, including Barbedienne, Susse and Siot-Decauville. The present cast is one of the largest examples.

As recognition of his success Boucher was awarded France’s highest award the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1887.
Dimensions
Height 74.00 cm (29.13 inches)
Width 105.00 cm (41.34 inches)
Depth 50.00 cm (19.69 inches)
Stock Code
B73160
Medium
Marble, Patinated Bronze.
Signed/Inscribed
Signed 'A. BOUCHER' and with title plaquette 'AU BUT / 1ERE MEDAILLE D'OR SALON 1886-87 / ACQUIS PAR L'ETAT A. BOUCHER SCULPT.',
Adrian Alan

Adrian Alan
66/67 South Audley Street
London
W1K 2QX
England

Contact Details
+44 (0)20-7495 2324
-
-
-
Email Dealer More Contact Details
Opening Hours
Contacts
View Dealer Location
Member Since 2007
Members of
View Full Details