Guy Le Perse

Orpheus – Male nude – Bronze sculpture

Guy Le Perse

Orpheus

Date : c. XXI

Dimensions : H : 34 cm ; L : 28 cm ; P : 25 cm

place of production: Lille

Material : Bronze with patina

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 sculpture of a male nude depicting Orpheus kneeling

The sculptor Guy Le Perse has here created an interpretation of Orpheus filled with suffering and lost hope.

Kneeling in the clay with his body tense, Orpheus attempts one last time to hold his beloved Eurydice in his arms. As the myth recounts, Orpheus, son of the muse Calliope, was capable of charming animals, men, and gods alike with his lyre. Inconsolable after the death of his wife Eurydice, who was bitten by a serpent, Orpheus decided to bring her back from the underworld himself. As he descended into the underworld, strengthened by his talent with the lyre, Orpheus faced several trials until he stood before the formidable god of the underworld, Hades. Through his music, Orpheus eventually persuaded the unyielding Hades to allow him to return with his wife Eurydice. However, Hades agreed on one condition: Orpheus must not look back at Eurydice as she followed him until they had both reached the world of the living. Unfortunately, near the end of their journey, not hearing his wife’s footsteps behind him, Orpheus, overcome with doubt, turned back. Eurydice then vanished forever from her husband’s sight.

Are we witnessing an attempt at a final embrace as the myth recounts? Or do we see Orpheus, mad with grief, fallen to his knees and desperately repeating this tragic moment?

It is up to the spectator to decide.

Whether an impossible embrace or a dance with his lost beloved, this representation of Orpheus embodies great dramatic tension. Through this sculpture, Guy Le Perse allows us to witness the tragedy of separation.

Patinated bronze sculpture of Orpheus in a kneeling, nude, and prostrate form. Executed by Guy Le Perse, a French sculptor.
Patinated bronze artwork of Orpheus, nude, kneeling and prostrate. Executed by the French sculptor Guy Le Perse.

"They picked their way in silence up a steep and gloomy path of darkness. There remained but little more to climb till they would touch earth's surface, when in fear he might again lose her, and anxious for another look at her, he turned his eyes so he could gaze upon her. Instantly she slipped away. He stretched out to her his despairing arms, eager to rescue her, or feel her form, but could hold nothing save the yielding air." Ovide - Metamorphoses, book X

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

Guy Le Perse

Roubaix (France) 1953

The sculptor Guy Le Perse was trained at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Industries Textiles in Roubaix and the École des Beaux-Arts in Douai. He was mentored by the sculptor Armand Debève, for whom he modeled in some works, and by the painter and engraver Auguste-Jean Gaudin. From his masters, he acquired a profound personal discipline in mastering his craft and creating his works.

A complete and expert artist, proficient in both engraving and painting, Guy Le Perse worked for many years for various prestigious clients. While practicing sculpture as a personal and secret philosophy, he also taught at applied art schools and fine arts schools in northern France.

Shortly before the year 2000, Guy Le Perse decided to devote himself primarily to sculpture. He has produced powerful and profound figurative works that continue the grand 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, brought to its pinnacle by illustrious artists like Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and Auguste Rodin, restoring it to its rightful place.

Drawing from the foundations and mysteries of the human soul as elucidated by great myths and foundational texts, Guy Le Perse has created a timeless body of work of great beauty, combining strength and delicacy.

Fiercely independent throughout his professional life, he remains so with respect to his era. The sculptures of Guy Le Perse do not follow any fashion or trend; they are eternal. Uncompromising with his times, his works are capable of speaking about the human condition’s tragedy to both the people of yesterday and those who will gaze upon them a thousand years from now.

A perfectionist and exacting artist, Guy Le Perse personally oversees the entire process of creating his bronzes, except for the casting. Mastering with equal rigor the modeling from life, the chiseling, and the patina process, Guy Le Perse attends to his works down to the finest details.

sources

Exposition – Guy Le Perse – Paris, Hôtel George V – 01/06/2003 – 01/06/2003

Exposition – Guy Le Perse – Lambersart, Le Colysée  – 11/11/2005 – 08/01/2006

Exposition – Art-Up ! – Lille, Grand Palais  – 28/02/2019 – 03/03/2019

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