Presented is a 20th century bronze sculpture, after Jules Moigniez, of an eagle on a rocky perch. The dignified eagle has its wings tucked and his head turned to the side, showcasing exquisite craftsmanship. Textured feathers, a rugged base, and sharp talons show Moigniez’s artistry at the lost wax process. The bronze sculpture sits atop a marble base.
Jules Moigniez (1835-1894) was a French sculptor widely known for his highly detailed bronze works depicting dynamic wildlife. After studying under Paul Cromolera, Moigniez made a name for himself at his first exhibition in 1855 at the Paris Exposition Universelle. From 1859 to 1892, he showed regularly at the annual Saloons, with a total of 30 recorded works exhibited. A successful sculptor in France, Moignez increased his British and American collector base by exhibiting at the London International Exhibition of 1862.
Intensely dedicated to the process of casting, Jules and his father decided to establish their own foundry in 1857, solely for the purpose of having complete control at every step, as well as the freedom to experiment. They created bronzes with unusually and unique finishes, experimenting in gilded, silver, and multi-color chemical patinas. Most of his works were cast using the lost-wax patina and were always chiseled and chased with great skill and care. While many bronze artists at the time focused solely on the subject, Moigniez incorporated highly detailed bases to accommodate his various animals.
After Jules Moigniez’s tragic death in 1894, his father continued to cast his son’s bronzes from the Moigniez foundry. Just before Moigniez’s father also passed away, he sold the foundry and his casts to Auguste Gouge, a family friend who once cast bronzes for Jules' teacher Paul Cromolera. Gouge continued to produce Moigniez’s bronze sculptures until WWI.
Eagle sculptures, such as this, gained such popularity in America because of the symbolic and historical meanings associated with the elegant bird. The eagle motif has been widely used throughout American history, most notably as part of our Great Seal. The founders of the United States were fond of comparing their new republic with the Roman Republic, in which eagle imagery was prominent. Since then, the eagle motif has appeared in allegorical engravings, patriotic banners and posters, and in beautiful wooden carvings and sculptures.
Overall very good condition. Bronze intact with rich brown patina, gold accent patina to top of head, top feathers, and flower at base, and red patina accent on eyes. Screwed into a black marble base, screws are slightly loose and hidden from felted bottom. Dimensions: 17"H x 10" W x 9" D. 22 lbs.
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