So, hello! This is my first post and I’m a little nervous, so I hope you like it. First though, a little bit about me. My partner and I collect bookplates, and we love sculpture too, especially of little children. We love both sexes, but I understand this blog is all about the little girls, right? No problem there. I know lots of those! Let’s get started.
My first artist pick is Stephan Buxin, a French/Belgian sculptor and illustrator who was born in Liège, Belgium in 1909 and passed away in Paris in 1996. He studied at the Beaux-Arts in Paris under Charles Despiau and Robert Wlérick. He created a few sculptures of children, most famously Gamin a.k.a. The Urchin, but here’s one that really exemplifies his skill I think. Just look at this adorable little cutie riding a giant fish. I just love her cheery little face. Overall it’s a nice example of realism with just a wee touch of Art Deco tossed in.
If you’d like to see more of his work, there is some sculpture examples (and a ton of drawings) on his Facebook page. There’s also an official site but there isn’t much to see there.
This is a beautiful piece! Do you know the scale? Life-size? Smaller? Larger? Where does this piece live?
The first photo, with smiley cheeks makes her look very young and cheruby. I love that the later photos reveal her to be a little longer and lankier, not a pudgy toddler. I appreciate this bravery to portray innocence and playfulness a tad bit older than society’s safe baby-blanket christmas-card age. She’s happy and pure, yet could still easily get into a bit of trouble with that spunkiness.
Hi there, thank you for that! Yes, I just love her. She is a pretty large sculpture from what I can tell, probably life-sized, maybe a touch smaller, going by the surrounding foliage. I reckon she’s somewhere between 5 and 7 years old. I like that she’s no dainty little thing, you don’t see that very often. No, that is a fleshy little girl, just past her baby fat stage. She is very much present, you know? You just want to pick her up and squeeze her, even though she’d probably get heavy really quick. She looks like she’d be a rambunctious lass too! Buxin captured her perfectly, didn’t he? I would buy this one. I’d definitely put her in my flower garden!
So, I did a little more research. Turns out this was commissioned by Jean de Lanauze, the director of the Cadum-Palmolive soap company back in the late fifties and was finished in 1960. So now we know the completion date too! It was made for the garden of a new plant they had just opened in Compiègne in 1956.
Buxin says of its construction: “J’ai exécuté la fontaine grandeur nature en terre et l’ai faite mouler [en plâtre] par Costil (si mes souvenirs sont exacts).” There you have it. Buxin himself says it’s life-sized! And here’s another photo where you can see her next to a real little girl. Oui, oui, she is very much the right size to be a real child: http://stephanbuxin.eu/catalogue/img/p/18-72-thickbox_default.jpg
It was at that plant until de Lanauze died, at which point it was taken down. I guess de Lanauze really loved it too. It still sat on the property until Buxin went and retrieved it. It was in some disrepair by then, but Buxin fixed it back up, and now I guess it is back with the Buxin family. One hopes they will at least make some small copies of her at some point.
Here’s where I got this information: http://stephanbuxin.eu/catalogue/index.php?id_product=18&controller=product&id_lang=2
The original images are there too, though I don’t think that’s where I found them.
On that same page, clicking “Commentaires”, one reads a statement by Françoise Buxin, the artist’s daughter, who says that she modeled for the sculpture at age 8.