Charles Auguste LEBOURG (1829 - 1906).
The young birder.
Signed and dated :C. A. LEBOURG 1866.
Cast by VOR THIEBAUT.
Born in Nantes, Charles Auguste Lebourg studied drawing and sculpture as a student of Amédée Ménard (ca. 1805-1873). In 1851, he moved to Paris where he continued his studies, this time under the tutelage of François Rude before exhibiting his work for the first time at the 1852 Salon.
The bronze created by Lebourg and entitled "Enfant nègre jouant avec un lézard" (Negro child playing with a lizard), first exhibited at the Salon of 1853, won an honorable mention at the Exposition Universelle two years later. It was later, at the 1867 Salon, that he was awarded a medal for the marble statue L'enfant à la sauterelle and that he proposed the bust of Lady Wallace at the 1872 Salon. During this same period, Lebourg worked on important decorative works for the Louvre, but also for the church of the Holy Trinity and for the City Hall of Paris. The most famous of his contributions came in the years following the Franco-Prussian War. Indeed, the Parisian aqueduct system was in ruins, making access to drinking water very difficult. To remedy this, Sir Richard Wallace, a wealthy English art collector and philanthropist living in Paris, decided to build a series of drinking fountains throughout the city. To expedite the project, he hired Lebourg, with whom he was already familiar. The first "Wallace Fountains" were installed in Paris in 1872, and more than a hundred fountains were scattered throughout France, mainly in Paris, but also in Nantes, Bordeaux, and several other large French cities. It should also be noted that at least six Wallace fountains were placed in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, and five others erected in Lisburn, in
Charles Auguste Lebourg highlights the passion of the second half of the nineteenth century for bucolic horizons and the desire for absolute purity through the representation of an adolescent body helping a bird to take flight with one hand. The plaster version of "Jeune oiseleur" was presented at the Salon of 1866 and the bronze cast at the Salon of 1868, mentioned in the Dictionnaire des sculpteurs au dix-neuvième siècle by Lami (III, Paris, 1919), page 268.) As for the casts of Victor Thiebaut, they are listed between 1860 and 1875, and ours comes from the collection of Sir Richard Wallace itself.
Sir Richard Wallace collection (1818-90), son of Richard, 4th Marquis of Hertford
Lady Wallace (d. 1897), married in 1871
Sir John Murray Scott (1847 - 1912), secretary and legatee
Miss Scott (d. circa 1931), sister of Sir John and Mary Scott
Coll. of Wyndham Birch
Stanislas Lami, Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l'École Française au dix-neuvième siècle, Paris,
1919, Vol. III, p 268
S. J. Camp, Wallace Collection Catalogues, Pictures and Drawings, London, 1928, pp. x-xxvi
R. A. Cecil, "The Remainder of the Hertford and Wallace Collections," in The Burlington
Magazine, June 1950, pp. 168-172
R. A. Cecil, "French Eighteenth Century Sculpture formerly in the Hertford-Wallace Collection",
in Apollo, June 1965, pp. 449-59
17 000 €