Agathon Léonard is best remembered as the French Art Nouveau sculptor responsible for creating a series of works inspired by the dancer Loïe Fuller. First produced for Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres in 1899 and exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900, they were then executed in bronze at the Süsse Frères foundry, as a result of their popularity. This present bust possesses the same grace as the dancers, with the elegant flowing lines and arabesques of the hair and the beautiful serenity of the pose.
Between 1896 and 1914 Léonard regularly exhibited at the Salon de la société nationale des beaux-arts. A list of these works including a number of marble busts is provided in Ingelore Böstge’s Agathon Léonard Le Geste Art Nouveau, Paris, 2003, pp 120-122. Two of these are entitled Flore des Champs - one in 1905 model number 1818 and the other in 1907 model number 2001. This seems a plausible title for the present lot as the girl has daisies and poppies in her hair, together with ears of corn.
Born in Belgium, Agathon Léonard was naturalised French in 1887 and in 1900 he was awarded the chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur, the highest order of merit in France.
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