Guy Le Perse

Female nude – Salome – Bronze sculpture

Guy Le Perse

Salome

Date : c. XXI

Dimensions : H : 68 cm ; L : 20,8 cm ; P : 27,5 cm

place of production: Lille

Material : Bronze patina

Condition : Very good condition

Conditions & disponibilité: Original work produced in 8 numbered copies plus 4 for artist. A certificate of authenticity signed by the artist is provided to the purchaser - copy still available.

Description

of work

BRONZE STATUETTE DEPICTING A NUDE SALOME CARRYING A DISH CONTAINING THE HEAD OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

The artist has created a magnificent bronze sculpture of Salomé in sensual astonishment.
This bronze of a female nude, chiselled by the artist himself, has a beautiful dark patina with deep greens, also created by Guy Le Perse.
Salome is shown naked, with her feet together. She is carrying a dish containing the severed head of Saint John the Baptist, a cloth that must have previously wrapped the head falling from the tray. Supported on a narrow, rectangular plinth, Salome is carried forward.
The face of this harmoniously proportioned callipyge Salomé exudes incomprehension and amazement. Despite her hair, which seems violently lifted by a sudden gust of wind, Salomé remains gripped.
Historically, as reported by the Judeo-Roman historiographer Flavius Joseph, Salome was a Jewish princess of the 1st century, the daughter of Herodias and Herod Boethos. Salome successively married her uncle Philip II, then Aristobulus of Chalcis, King of Armenia Minor, and became queen in her turn.
But Salome is best known as the character in an episode from the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. During a banquet, King Herod was charmed by his daughter-in-law Salome’s dance in front of the guests and granted her whatever she wanted. After taking advice from her mother Herodias, Salome asks for the head of John the Baptist, whom the king had had arrested a few days earlier. Shortly before, John the Baptist had denounced Herodias’ remarriage to her brother-in-law Herod. Queen Herodias was now trying to have him killed.
Salome in the story according to Saint Mark was therefore the means of revenge.

The triangular construction and composition of this female nude by the sculptor Guy Le Perse show the gravity of the act initiated by Salomé.
The head of Saint John the Baptist is heavy, yet the plate does not spill. For it is through a symbolic heaviness that this head acts. Heavy with guilt rather than flesh and bone, this head of a sacrificed man carries Salomé the dancer forward in a fall she cannot control. Salomé, without really understanding what has happened, is here the concrete and visible measure of all the gravity of a sacrilegious act. Like the scales of justice, she shows the weight of the offence committed. Order has been flouted, verticality no longer exists. This head, the gift of a seduced father, claimed on the advice of a perverse mother, is now nothing but embarrassment and absurdity in the sad eyes of Salome the seductress.

Salomé portant la tête de Saint Jean Baptiste

When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” […] At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter." Mark 6, 22-25

Guy le Perse : portrait de l'artiste Guy le Perse en train de modeler une sculpture

Guy Le Perse

Roubai ( France ) - 1953

Sculptor Guy Le Perse trained at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Industries Textiles in Roubaix and the École des Beaux-Arts in Douai. Guy Le Perse’s masters were the sculptor Armand DEBEVE, whose model he used for some of his works, and the painter and engraver Auguste-Jean GAUDIN. From his masters, he drew a very high personal standard in the mastery of gesture and in the realization of his works.
A complete and expert artist, mastering both burin engraving and painting, Guy Le Perse worked for many years for a number of prestigious clients. While practicing sculpture as a personal and secret philosophy, Guy Le Perse taught at schools of applied art and fine art schools in northern France.
Shortly before the year 2000, Guy Le Perse decided to devote himself primarily to sculpture. Guy Le Perse has produced a powerful and profound figurative body of work in the great tradition of French statuary, one of the richest and most beautiful in the world.
Through his work, Guy Le Perse perpetuates the excellence of French sculpture, which illustrious artists such as Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and Auguste Rodin have brought to the pinnacle, its rightful place.

Drawing on the foundations and mysteries of the human soul that the great myths and founding texts explain to us, Guy Le Perse has created a timeless work of great beauty, combining strength and delicacy.
Fiercely independent throughout his professional life, he is also independent with the times. Guy Le Perse’s sculptures do not follow fashions or trends ; they are timeless. With no concessions to the times, Guy Le Perse’s works speak of the human tragedy to the man of yesterday and to the man who will contemplate them a thousand years from now.
A demanding perfectionist, Guy Le Perse carries out the entire manufacturing process for his bronzes himself, apart from casting the bronze. Guy Le Perse’s mastery of model modelling, chasing and patination is equally exacting, and he accompanies his works right down to the smallest detail.

the work

in its context

The greatest artists have taken up this biblical and, in many ways, mythological subject.
Like biblical figures such as Eve, Delilah and Judith, but also mythological ones such as Pandora, Circe and Helen of Troy, the figure of Salome has never ceased to inspire artists.

Regnault depicted the biblical temptress Salome. The tray and knife allude to her reward: the severed head of John the Baptist.
Salome - Oil on canvas - Henri Regnault (French, Paris 1843–1871 Buzenval) - The MET Collection

Salome, sometimes a femme fatale and temptress, sometimes a mysterious oriental beauty, immense painters such as Lucas Cranach the Elder, Caravaggio and Gustave Moreau, as well as poets and writers such as Guillaume Apollinaire, Oscar Wilde and Gustave Flaubert, have taken up this recurring figure in the history of art, combining beauty and death, desire and guilt.
Guy Le Perse has produced a magnificent female nude of great density, reinterpreting in a profoundly material way a theme that few sculptors have tackled with such accuracy.

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