A Girl Playing Astragaloi

This is one of the earliest known works of art in which the sole subject is a little girl. There are older works—primarily ancient Egyptian wall art—that include girls as part of a family portrait, as well as some funerary stele for deceased Roman children that may be older, but this is a rare example of Greco-Roman art focusing on the young girl as a subject in her own right (though this piece too may have served as a memorial for a young daughter who had passed away), and that makes it particularly fascinating for lovers of girl art. The ancient Greeks and Romans of course created a lot of sculpture that captured the adult form—male and female—and occasionally young boys, but it seems girls were considered of very little interest to classical aesthetes.

The game she’s playing, astragaloi—sometimes called knucklebones—is one of the oldest known games in existence and provides us with the origin of the modern games of dice and jacks.  Although the game was called knucklebones, it was usually played with the astragalus (ankle or hock) bones of sheep, hence the name.  The girl appears to be somewhere between ten and twelve years old and is probably upper class, perhaps the daughter of a senator.  Though the sculptor of this piece is not known, it has been dated to 150-200 CE and is known to have originated in Rome.  The original version is now housed in the Altes Museum in Berlin.

Artist Unknown – A Girl Playing Astragaloi (ca. 150-200 CE) (1)

Artist Unknown – A Girl Playing Astragaloi (ca. 150-200 CE) (2)

Artist Unknown – A Girl Playing Astragaloi (ca. 150-200 CE) (3)

Artist Unknown – A Girl Playing Astragaloi (ca. 150-200 CE) (4)

Artist Unknown – A Girl Playing Astragaloi (ca. 150-200 CE) (5)

Artist Unknown – A Girl Playing Astragaloi (ca. 150-200 CE) (6)

Now, here’s something really cool.  Sketchfab has a complete three-dimensional scan of this that you can spin around with your cursor and observe from any direction.  If only every other sculpture of interest to us had one of those!

Henri Émile Martinet

Here’s a lovely little Art Deco sculpture from Henri Émile Martinet. What I most love about this piece is the easy, unforced stance the little girl takes. There’s very little about Martinet on the web, but I do know he was a student of sculptor Charles Valton, and he became well-known in his lifetime for his sculptural portraits of early 20th century luminaries.

Henri Émile Martinet – Jeune fille nue debout (1930) (1)

Henri Émile Martinet – Jeune fille nue debout (1930) (2)

Henri Émile Martinet – Jeune fille nue debout (1930) (3)

Modern and Vintage Dolls

In a previous article last year, I introduced the topic of porcelain dolls, illustrating it with my own acquisitions. My collection having grown both in quantity and in diversity, I think that the time has now come to post a sequel.

There are many types of dolls. First they can be made with various materials: cloth, plastic, etc. The ones I own have their head (and generally the visible body parts such as hands) made from a matte type of porcelain (without enamel) called bisque (biscuit in French). But the rest of the body can be made in several ways, as I will explain. Then they can represent different types of people. Mine belong to the category called baby (bébé in French), which means in fact small children; but in that category, I never buy babies and toddlers, nor boys; I collect only girls looking to be between the ages of 5 and 12. Finally, dolls vary according to the epoch of their making. My previous article showed what one calls modern dolls, most of them were recent models produced for the tourist market.

I will start with five modern dolls bought since last year. Their head, hands and forearms, feet and lower legs are in bisque, but the rest of the body is made with padded tissue. The assembling of limbs is not always perfect, so that while they are held from their waist on a metallic holder (under their dress), their hanging legs can slightly slant to one side, and their feet be somewhat turned. One can minimize this defect in photography by taking the picture from a suitable angle and rotating it by 1 or 2 degrees.

I show first a small redhead (40 cm without the hat), with rustic clothes.

Doll_RH

The next four dolls (as the last two in the previous article) were made by the German company Reinart Faelens Kunstgewerbe GmbH, whose brand name is rf collection. On the label one can read:

Decorative doll for collectors, minimum age: 14 years!
No toy! Small parts can break and be swallowed!

Indeed, they are not intended for little girls, but for adults. I show here my two loveliest ones. I consider them twins: I bought them on the same day, they have the same size (42 cm without the hat), and their clothes are similar.

Reinart Faelens Kunstgewerbe GmbH - rf collection no. 120691 (2016)

Reinart Faelens Kunstgewerbe GmbH – rf collection no. 120691 (2016)

Reinart Faelens Kunstgewerbe GmbH - rf collection no. 120707 (2016)

Reinart Faelens Kunstgewerbe GmbH – rf collection no. 120707 (2016)

The next one is peculiar; she is not standing, but she has to sit on a chair (her knees are folded); she is approximately 55 cm long.

Reinart Faelens Kunstgewerbe GmbH - rf collection (2016)

Reinart Faelens Kunstgewerbe GmbH – rf collection (2016)

I call the last one (54 cm without the hat) the green fairy, because of her green dress, but also because she stands next to the glass cabinet where I keep my absinthe.

Reinart Faelens Kunstgewerbe GmbH - rf collection (2015)

Reinart Faelens Kunstgewerbe GmbH – rf collection (2015)

Photographed from another angle, she seems to be dreaming.

Reinart Faelens Kunstgewerbe GmbH - rf collection (2015)

Reinart Faelens Kunstgewerbe GmbH – rf collection (2015)

Now I show my big doll, she measures exactly one meter. I bought her last year in a flea market in Strasbourg. As with modern dolls, her head and hands are in bisque, and her body in padded tissue, but her lower legs and feet seem to be made of painted tissue covering some light and flexible matter, maybe cardboard. As it often happens with second-hand dolls, her soiled face needed some washing, and her dusty bloomers and petticoat required a laundry. She has been featured in Agapeta, where I showed her sprawling on a sofa. But I decided that her dignity (and my comfort) required buying a chair for her. And she even got her own doll, a very old one.

Doll_NSD

Before describing the latter, I must introduce the topic of vintage bisque dolls. They often date from the early 20th century, sometimes from the 19th. They are rather expensive, generally costing several hundred euros; I even saw a beautiful 19th century doll by a renowned maker, in perfect condition, priced 13 000 euros! The body can be made from various materials, such as tissue, wood, “composition” (imitation of bisque), or a kind of painted papier mâché. Often the arms are articulated, and instead of dropping, they can be held raised thanks to elastic rubber attached to them inside. Generally the hair and the clothes are recent replacements; in fact they often have real human hair, in contrast to modern dolls that have synthetic hair (hence, because of reflections, they should be photographed without a flash). Given the sophistication of their moving body parts, it seems that they were not decorative dolls, but real toys.

German dolls from the early 20th century usually have the brand name, model and geographic origin engraved at the back of the head. This one is a series 250.0 of the maker Ernst Heubach in Koppelsdorf, Germany. I bought it from an antiquarian in Strasbourg, who dates it from around 1900. As another site states: “The Germany inscription reinforces the early 1900 date. Starting in the early 1920’s the US started requiring the ‘Made in Germany’ mark on imports.” She has “sleeping eyes”, that is, her upper eyelids close when she lies on her back. Her articulated shoulders and elbows can both fold and rotate as in humans, and her wrists can rotate. Her legs are articulated at the hips and knees (but without elastic to prevent them from dropping down). Note also her open mouth.

Ernst Heubach Dolls, Koppelsdorf, Germany - Heubach Koppelsdorf 250.0 (c.1900--1920)

Ernst Heubach Dolls, Koppelsdorf, Germany – Heubach Koppelsdorf 250.0 (1900–1920)

I bought the next vintage doll at the Musée de la Poupée in Paris. It is a series MOA 200 made for the brand Welsch & Company by Max Oscar Arnold in Neustadt, Germany. I was told that it is dated 1940; however I think it could perhaps be older, since according to the reference site, the Max Oscar Arnold Doll Company operated until 1930. Since she wears a nightgown, I put her in my bedroom. She also has an open mouth, limbs rotating and folding at the hips, knees, shoulders and elbows, and rotating wrists. I had to untangle her hair, but I do not dare use a comb to groom it, since it might be torn from the felt scalp—so I leave it wildly spread around her face.

Max Oscar Arnold Dolls, Neustadt, Germany - MOA 200 Welsch (c.1940)

Max Oscar Arnold Dolls, Neustadt, Germany – MOA 200 Welsch (c1940)

Readers who looked carefully at the previous post may have noticed that another doll was standing at that place in my bedroom; indeed the latter moved to my kitchen.

My last doll, the most expensive one, was also bought at the Musée de la Poupée in Paris. They date it 1945. It was made by Monica Doll Studios, Hollywood, CA, USA. Her arms and legs are rigid; they move only at the elbows and hips. But while the trunk and limbs of the two German dolls were rather rough in their making, Monica’s body is made in the same material as her face, and with the same quality. So maybe it was a decorative doll, not a toy.

Monica Doll Studios, Hollywood, CA USA (1945)

Monica Doll Studios, Hollywood, CA USA (1945)

Here we can see her from another angle.

Monica Doll Studios, Hollywood, CA USA (1945)

Monica Doll Studios, Hollywood, CA USA (1945)

I am not sure whether I will buy any more dolls. They fill my apartment, I am starting to run out of room for them.

Vitality in Subtle Gestures: Teresa Riba

A reader from Spain brought my attention to this sculptor. This is a further demonstration that there are many established on-topic artists who still need to be covered on this site.

Teresa Riba was born in 1962 and raised in the Igualada district of Barcelona. She graduated from Facultad de Bellas Artes de Barcelona (Faculty of Fine Arts in Barcelona) and is now a professor at l’Escola d’Art Gaspar Camps (School of Art Gaspar Camps). Although this artist has a Facebook account and a sales site (Galeria D’Art Anquin’s) for her work, the only substantial information comes from an interview conducted in 2013 and originally published as “Entre 8km2″ in Diari d’Igualada.

Teresa Riba - Nen (charcoal) (Date Unknown)

Teresa Riba – Nen (charcoal) (Date Unknown)

Teresa Riba - De tu a tu XI (acrylic) (Date Unknown)

Teresa Riba – De tu a tu XI (acrylic) (Date Unknown)

Although Riba’s repertoire includes drawings, she has been specializing in sculpture since 1985. She has a reputation for her penetrating insight into the character of youth, paying particular attention to the nuance of gesture and how it reflects the compelling everyday behavior of young girls, both in their innocence and their inner power. The artist has also adapted to technological developments with a series called ‘Entre dits’ showing her subjects using mobile phones, texting and engaging in the latest forms of social media as though they were observed from the street.

Teresa Riba - Entre dits, II, 7 8 (bronze) (2015)

Teresa Riba – Entre dits, II, 7 8 (bronze) (2015)

Teresa Riba - Nena rambla (Date Unknown)

Teresa Riba – Nena rambla (Date Unknown)

Riba’s sculptures are figurative and characterized by their coarse texture and robust vitality. The potency of a subtle gesture was expressed by another sculptor, Alberto Giacometti, and Riba expounds on that principle in her work. The artist avoids falling into the familiar trap of producing pieces of a particular type and attempts to bring out the distinct character of each subject. Even when displaying multiple pieces in an exhibit, special care is taken in placing each work in relation to the others.

Teresa Riba - Movil tres (bronze) (Date Unknown)

Teresa Riba – Movil tres (bronze) (Date Unknown)

Teresa Riba - Judit (resin) (2014)

Teresa Riba – Judit (resin) (2014)

Teresa Riba - Des de dalt (bronze) (Date Unknown)

Teresa Riba – Des de dalt (bronze) (Date Unknown)

Riba says her rough style invites touch and makes the pieces seem unfinished yet much more alive and expressive. She prefers to work with molding clay—and uses these molds to produce bronzes—but also likes working with wood and stone. The softer materials have advantages, giving the artist more options and engaging the fuller use of her hands. Although most sculptors prefer to create in a certain size range, Riba has produced work from 5 to 10 centimeters in height up to 4 to 5 meters, with pieces weighing up to 13 tons.

Teresa Riba - Tarda al sol 3 (bronze) (Date Unknown)

Teresa Riba – Tarda al sol 3 (bronze) (Date Unknown)

As a professor, she acknowledges that the challenges of teaching have changed. With the advent of the internet, more people have access to knowledge about production and the artistic process. However, lack of experience and supervision can lead to misinformation and thus access to a good teacher in a school setting is still quite valuable. Serious artists engage in learning experiences on a daily basis.

Any corrections or more details on these images would be appreciated, particularly by those fluent in Catalan.

Eloise Wilkin: Illustrator of Little Golden Books

Most of us would have childhood memories of reading books illustrated by Eloise Wilkin. Wilkin started writing Little Golden Books in the 1940s and many of her books are still being re-released today. The illustrations of Eloise Wilkin depict an idyllic environment that is free of dangers and is inhabited by chubby, cherub-faced toddlers and children. These children are mainly of Caucasian appearance, though occasionally other ethnicities do appear. Curiously most children drawn by Wilkin have a closed mouth smile or contemplative expression—you almost never see their teeth. I suppose this was because Wilkin was not comfortable or did not believe she could convincingly draw other expressions. Regardless, I don’t think this lack of varied expression reduced the quality of her images. All of her images are either watercolors or coloured pencil drawings.

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book A Child's Garden of Verses 1957

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book A Child’s Garden of Verses (1957)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (1) 1957

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (1957) (1)

Eloise Margaret Wilkin was born (as Eloise Margaret Burns, March 30, 1904–October 4, 1987) in Rochester, NY. She completed an illustration course at the Rochester Institute of Technology and upon graduation, started up an art studio with her friend Joan Esley. However the art studio was unsuccessful and she struggled to find work in Rochester so she moved to New York City. Here Eloise did freelance work for many publishing companies and her first published book was The Shining Hour (1927) for the Century Co. Additionally, Wilkin also illustrated paper dolls for the businesses Playtime House, Jaymar and Samuel Gabriel and Sons.

Eloise Wilkin - Prayers for Children (Cover) 1952

Eloise Wilkin – Prayers for Children (Cover) (1952)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book My Goodnight Book 1981

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book My Goodnight Book (1981)

Eloise married Sidney Wilkin in 1935 and reduced the amount of illustrating work she did for the next nine years in order to raise their four children.  She signed a contract with Simon & Schuster in 1944 and went on to illustrate about fifty Little Golden Books. During this time she would use family, relations and neighbours as models for her images. The landscapes that appeared in Eloise’s illustrations were also real and drawn from the areas she lived or holidayed.

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (2) 1957

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (1957) (2)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (3) 1957

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Wonders of Nature (1957) (3)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Birds 1958 (1)

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Birds (1958) (1)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Birds 1958 (2)

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Birds (1958) (2)

Eloise Wilkin started designing dolls in 1961. Her first doll was was the Baby Dear doll produced by Vogue Dolls. Inc. which came in two sizes, 12 and 18 inches.

Image of "Baby Dear" doll created by Eloise Wilkin

Image of “Baby Dear” doll created by Eloise Wilkin

Eloise went on to create six other dolls.

Image of seven dolls all created by Eloise Wilkin

Image of seven dolls all created by Eloise Wilkin

The Baby Dear doll was released concurrently with the book Baby Dear, published by Little Golden Books, and appears in the book as the little girl’s doll. Another interesting thing about the Baby Dear book is that it was written by Esther Wilkin, Eloise’s sister. Additionally her daughter was the model for the mother and her grandson the model for the baby.

Eloise Wilkin - Baby Dear (Cover) 1962

Eloise Wilkin – Baby Dear (Cover) (1962)

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Baby Dear 1962

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Baby Dear (1962)

In addition to books Eloise’s images also appeared on calendars, puzzles, the covers of Little Golden Records, china plates, ads, cards and in Child’s Life, Story Parade and Golden Magazine.

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book We Like Kindergarten 1965

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book We Like Kindergarten (1965)

Eloise Wilkin - My Kitten (Cover) 1954

Eloise Wilkin – My Kitten (Cover) (1954)

Eloise Wilkin - Songs of Praise (Cover) 1970

Eloise Wilkin – Songs of Praise (Cover) (1970)

Eloise continued to illustrate and design dolls right up until her death, from cancer in 1987.

Eloise Wilkin - Untitled illustration from the book Prayers for Children 1952

Eloise Wilkin – Untitled illustration from the book Prayers for Children (1952)

An extensive bibliography of Eloise Wilkin books can be found at the Loganberry Books website

To listen to a three-part interview with one of Eloise Wilkin’s daughters, Deborah Wilkin Springett go to the triviumpursuit website. The webpage also says you can order her biography about her mother, The Golden Years of Eloise Wilkin, however this page is eight years old, at this time, so it may no longer be available.

A Girl and Her Dog: A Survival Story and the Artwork It Inspired

Now here’s something unique. In July of 2014 a three-year-old little girl named Karina Chikitova became hopelessly lost in the Siberian taiga for nearly two weeks with only her little dog to keep her company! The story of how such a small girl managed to survive those eleven harrowing days and nights borders on the miraculous, but she owes much to her canine companion Naida, who not only helped keep her warm during the near-freezing temperatures of the taiga nights but eventually led villagers back to her when the dog sensed she was in danger. Truly amazing! She has been nicknamed the Mowgli girl because of her survival skills in the wild. You can read all the details of this story here and elsewhere on the web. And because of this story, Russian artist Nicholay Chochchasov was inspired to create a sculptural tribute to the pair called Girl and Dog, which is now installed at the airport in Yakutsk, the capital of the Sakha Republic, where the little girl and her favorite pet reside.

Photographer Unknown - Rescuers with Karina Chikitova

Photographer Unknown – Rescuers with Karina Chikitova

Sakha Republic Rescue Service - Karina Chikitova

Sakha Republic Rescue Service – Karina Chikitova

Photographer Unknown - Karina and Naida

Photographer Unknown – Karina and Naida

Nicholay Chochchasov - Girl and Dog (2015) (1)

Nicholay Chochchasov – Girl and Dog (2015) (1)

Nicholay Chochchasov - Girl and Dog (2015) (2)

Nicholay Chochchasov – Girl and Dog (2015) (2)

Nicholay Chochchasov - Girl and Dog (2015) (3)

Nicholay Chochchasov – Girl and Dog (2015) (3)

Henry Clews and the God of Humormystics

Hey, hey! Sorry I’ve been away for awhile. But I have a good one for you! Henry Clews Jr. was an American artist by birth although he moved to France in 1914 because he felt Europe would be more conducive to his artistic experimentation, and there he remained for the rest of his life. Not long after the move he completed what would become his most famous piece, the marble and bronze God of Humormystics. The central figure is the titular god, and around the base of his pedestal are three other figures, all children. They are Adam, Eve and the God of Human Love (Eros).

Clews and his wife, Elsie Whelan Goelet Clews, called Marie, purchased the Château de la Napoule, a castle located in Mandelieu-la-Napoule, France which they set about restoring as it was in a state of disrepair. Once restored, they decorated it with many of Clews’ artworks including God of Humormystics, a wedding gift for Marie. Clews was an eccentric fellow who fancied himself a Don Quixote, and redubbed the castle Mancha. He also named his first son Mancha, but understandably, when he grew up he legally changed his name to Madison. Clews even called his valet Sancho.

Henry Clews - God of Humormystics (1910s) (1)

Henry Clews – God of Humormystics (1910s) (1)

Henry Clews - God of Humormystics (1910s) (2)

Henry Clews – God of Humormystics (1910s) (2)

Here you can really see Eve, the figure lying on the ground, very well.

Henry Clews - God of Humormystics (1910s) (3)

Henry Clews – God of Humormystics (1910s) (3)

Henry Clews - God of Humormystics (1910s) (4)

Henry Clews – God of Humormystics (1910s) (4)

Henry Clews - God of Humormystics (1910s) (5)

Henry Clews – God of Humormystics (1910s) (5)

Henry Clews - God of Humormystics (1910s) (6)

Henry Clews – God of Humormystics (1910s) (6)

Sándor Járay’s Adam and Eve

Just a small one today, for the artist Sándor Járay. There were actually two Sándor Járays, and they were uncle and nephew.  The first was born Alexander Jeitteles in Romania in 1845, but he established a studio in Vienna, Austria early in his life and remained there throughout his life. He was mostly a furniture designer, for which he was very successful. The second Sándor Járay, his nephew, was born in 1870. As I do not know which of the two designed this piece, I figured I’d better do a short bio for both.

This piece is a unique take on a Biblical theme, as it depicts Adam and Eve as children. I find it quite charming, don’t you?

Sándor Járay - Adam und Eva (ca. 1908) (1)

Sándor Járay – Adam und Eva (c1908) (1)

Sándor Járay - Adam und Eva (ca. 1908) (2)

Sándor Járay – Adam und Eva (c1908) (2)

Alix Marquet

Alix Marquet was a French sculptor, born in Nièvre in 1875 and died in Paris in 1939. His father Charles Marquet was a stonemason, giving young Alix an early interest in stone as a medium for expression. He also had some early drawing talent which caused the postmaster of his town, Henri Ferrier, who also happened to be a painter to take an interest in the 14-year-old boy and foster his budding artistic interests. With the assistance of some other gentlemen Alix moved to Paris as a teen and began his career as a sculptor. His first work, a bust of his own father, was accepted in the Salon in 1893, when he was just 18 years old. In 1901 he won his first medal at Salon, taking third prize for his piece L’imploration. Two years later he took second prize at Salon with Fin de Labeur. In another two years he at last took first prize, winning for Ceux qui restent.  If you guessed that he would win his next big prize in two years, you’re right! Marquet took the esteemed National Prize for the very piece we are about to look at, Il n’est pas de rose…

[Edit: A French speaker kindly corrected my mistaken view that the title of this piece meant ‘It is not pink’ when it actually means ‘it is not a rose’ which definitely changes the meaning but I’m not really sure what the piece is meant to say. But a big thanks to you, sir! I think I’m just going to quit trying to translate these things myself!]

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (1)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (1)

A cute toddler trait: curling the toes underneath the foot.

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (2)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (2)

Here you can see she still has some of her baby fat as her belly protrudes somewhat. It’s also adorable how she gnaws on her pinkie finger as she considers the paradox of the rose that isn’t rose-colored.

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (3)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (3)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (4)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (4)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (5)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (5)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (6)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (6)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (7)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (7)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (8)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (8)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (9)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (9)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (10)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (10)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (11)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (11)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (12)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (12)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (13)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (13)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (14)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (14)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (15)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (15)

Alix Marquet - Il n’est pas de rose... (1907) (16)

Alix Marquet – Il n’est pas de rose… (1907) (16)

I do have one other piece by Marquet to show you, but unfortunately I only have one image for it and it isn’t the best. C’est la vie.

Alix Marquet - Le passé, le présent, l'avenir (1931)

Alix Marquet – Le passé, le présent, l’avenir (1931)

Cesare Lapini

And now to my first Italian sculptor! Cesare Lapini was a Florentine artist born in 1848 and died in 1890, at the age of 42. His favorite subject was the female of all ages, and his little girls are especially charming. The first piece is called Impara l’arte e mettila da parte, an old Italian aphorism that translates to something like “Learn an art and put it aside”, except with a nifty rhyme. The point of it is you never know when some little thing you learned might come in handy later. So this little girl is learning to knit, something a lot of girls her age learned in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Cesare Lapini - Impara l'arte e mettila da parte (1893)

Cesare Lapini – Impara l’arte e mettila da parte (1893)

This next one, Volere e Potere, is a variation on the same theme. It seems Lapini liked rhyming titles. This is another old saying and it means basically, “Be willing and you’ll be able.” Or to put it the way most English speakers would recognize it, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It appears she is either learning to sew or trying to tie a knot.

Cesare Lapini - Volere e Potere (1)

Cesare Lapini – Volere e Potere (1)

Cesare Lapini - Volere e Potere (2)

Cesare Lapini – Volere e Potere (2)

Cesare Lapini - Volere e Potere (3)

Cesare Lapini – Volere e Potere (3)

The last featured piece is a young adolescent couple. The boy tries to steal a kiss but the bashful girl is not having it, even as she does this with a sheepish smile. It’s called Il Primo Bacio which means “The First Kiss” and is my favorite of this collection.

Cesare Lapini - Il Primo Bacio (1904) (1)

Cesare Lapini – Il Primo Bacio (1904) (1)

Cesare Lapini - Il Primo Bacio (1904) (2)

Cesare Lapini – Il Primo Bacio (1904) (2)

Cesare Lapini - Il Primo Bacio (1904) (3)

Cesare Lapini – Il Primo Bacio (1904) (3)