Guy Le Perse

Veilded shadow II – Bronze sculpture

Guy Le Perse

Veiled shadow II

Date : c. XXI

Dimensions : H : 50 cm ; L : 32,5 cm ; P : 42,5 cm

place of production: Lille

Material : Patined bronze

Condition : Very good condition

Conditions & disponibilité: Original work produced in 8 numbered and signed editions plus 4 artist's proofs. A certificate of authenticity signed by the artist is provided to the purchaser – one copy remaining available


of work


Inspired by Canto XXII of Inferno from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the French sculptor Guy Le Perse questions us here about the figure of the hypocrite and the punishment they deserve.

By depicting a character standing with arms outstretched and covered by a voluminous veil, Guy Le Perse reinterprets hypocrisy by linking this vice to its corresponding punishment.

Beneath the veil, there is nothing but emptiness and the absence of life.

What remains is a form manifested by this shroud.

What does this shroud cover? What does this veil forever conceal?

"Tuscan, who visitest The college of the mourning hypocrites, Disdain not to instruct us who thou art."... Dante - The divine comedy, Inferno canto XXII

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 de Roubaix and the École des beaux-arts de Douai. He was mentored by the sculptor Armand Debève, for whom he also modeled for several works, and by the painter and engraver Auguste-Jean Gaudin. From his mentors, he inherited a profound personal demand for mastery in both technique and execution of his works.

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

Shortly before the year 2000, he decided to focus primarily on sculpture. Guy Le Perse has produced a powerful and profound body of figurative work, continuing the grand tradition of French statuary, which is among the richest and most beautiful in the world.

Through his work, he perpetuates the excellence of French sculpture, a tradition elevated to its highest by illustrious artists such as Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and Auguste Rodin, 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 exceptional beauty, combining strength and delicacy. Fiercely independent throughout his professional life, he is also independent of his time. Guy Le Perse’s sculptures do not follow any trends or movements; they are eternal. Uncompromising with the times, his works speak to the tragic nature of humanity to both the people of yesterday and those who will contemplate them a thousand years from now.

A perfectionist and demanding artist, he personally undertakes the entire process of creating his bronzes, except for the casting of the bronze itself. With the same high standards, he masters the modeling from life, the chiseling, and the creation of the patina, accompanying his works down to the smallest details

the work

in its context

In Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the hypocrites are confined to the sixth trench of the eighth circle of Hell, which is reserved for fraudsters. In this passage, Dante depicts them wearing cloaks that are golden on the outside but lined with lead on the inside, symbolizing their duplicity and false appearances. These heavy and oppressive cloaks illustrate the crushing weight of their moral hypocrisy. Among these souls, Dante encounters Caiaphas, the high priest who advised the crucifixion of Jesus, lying on the ground, trampled by the other damned, an allegory of his responsibility in condemning the innocent.

Détail de l'illustration de l'enfer par Gustave Doré, gravé par Héliodore Pisan, publié en 1861 par Hachette
Detail of the illustration of Hell by Gustave Doré, engraved by Héliodore Pisan, published in 1861 by Hachette

This punishment underscores the notion that false virtue is a particularly heinous betrayal, unmasking hypocrites as corruptors of truth and justice. The Italian poet thus harshly criticizes dissimulation and infidelity to spiritual and human values, offering a profound reflection on moral integrity.

"Ombre voilée II", une sculpture en bronze par Guy Le Perse, montre un personnage voilé avec les bras étendus. Elle s'inspire des hypocrites dans la Divine Comédie de Dante.
Guy le Perse


Exposition – Reims 1920-1930. Le Feu de la création Musée Le Vergeur
18/05/2019 – 10/11/2019 – Catalogue en ligne

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