Offered by Artimo
Marble Sculptures from 1800 to 1950
Ijnants' model of Grace dates from the formative years of a long and productive career,
after he had achieved his first critical success at the 1913 World Exhibition in Ghent.
There, Wijnant exhibited a bronze nude girl, named Echo, which compares with the
symbolist-expressionist nudes of George Minne.
The wooden version - because Wijnants had first learned sculpture in a furniture factory
- was bought by the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, where it came to the attention of the
connoisseur-collector Frederic Speth. Speth, attracted by Wijnant's sensual and
impressionistic exploration of the female figure, paid the sculptor an annual stipend,
enabling him to develop a series of bathers in the early war years. In a comment that
could be directly applied to the present work, Frank Huygens noted of this series that
their 'sensuous bodies are barely covered by their transparent, ultra-lightweight garments
of wet drapery'.
A life-size bronze cast of Grace from 1917 was certainly given to Speth, as it was in his
collection at the 1938 retrospective exhibition. The original sketch, carved in wood rather
than the usual plaster and bearing iron pointing marks, was exhibited by the Maurice
Tzwern Gallery and a 140 cm high version in painted plaster adorned the cover of the
1978 exhibition catalogue in Mechelen, Wijnants' home town.
Artist : Ernest Wijnants (Malines 1878 – 1964)
Ernest Lodewijk Adolf Wijnants (sometimes called Wynants) was a Belgian
sculptor who also painted.
He was initially trained as a furniture maker in the workshops of the Devos
From 1907 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels and later taught
himself at the Academy in Antwerp (from 1926) and at the National Institute of Fine Arts
in Antwerp (from 1931). The sculptors Albert Meertens and Niel Steenbergen were
among his pupils.
Wijnants was the creator of the one franc coin which was in circulation from 10
November 1938 to 12 August 1952. He also made medals.
He made various art deco sculptures, such as his large series on the bridge at Place
Sainctelette in Brussels.
In the summer of 1929, he was commissioned to create a statue in Lausanne as a
sign of Belgium's gratitude to Switzerland.
In October 1931, he was appointed by royal decree as 'Professor of Sculpture' at
the Antwerp Higher Institute, replacing Victor Rousseau.
At the end of his life, he handed over all his works to his home town of Mechelen.
Several of his statues can still be seen there. His house and studio were destroyed by a
bomb at the end of the Second World War.
Works in public spaces:
- The Mother (De Moeder), courtyard of the town hall, Mechelen
- Mother and Child, Sint-Janskerkhof, Mechelen
- Bust Albert I, Koning Albertplein, Mechelen
- Rhythmic movement, Dancing peasant, Centaur, Botanical Gardens, Mechelen
- The Three Graces, Lange Schipstraat, Mechelen
- War memorial, Wollemarkt Mechelen
- De Opschik van de Prinses, Merksem
- Offerande aan de toekomst, Kapellen
- Bust of Albert Nobels, Vrijbroekpark, Mechelen
- Funerary monument of Ernest Wijnants, cemetery, Mechelen
- Funerary monument of the Schippers family, cemetery, Mechelen
- De Volksvrouw, municipal park, Boom
- Het Nadenken, De Zegepraal, Het Vooruitstreven, municipal park, Boom
- Bacchante, Gratie, Puberty, Slaverintje, Stationstraat,Sint-Niklaas
- Serenity, Middelheim Park, Antwerp
- Monument of the Allard Family, Brussels Cemetery, Evere
- In honour of Queen Astrid, Nachtegalenpark, Antwerp
- Four pillars, Sainctelette bridge over the canal (Boulevard Leopold II), Brussels
- Lieven Gevaert Memorial, Guido Gezellelaan, Mortsel
- Air transport, facade of the Heysel Centenary Palace (5), Brussels Laeken
- Twenty draped figures in Gothic style, Round Table, facade of the National Bank branch,
- Belgium grateful to hospitable Switzerland 1914-1918, Lausanne, Switzerland
? ENGELEN, C. MARX, M. La Sculpture en Belgique à partir de 1830. Louvain :
Engelen – Marx, 2006. Tome VII p. 4196- 4209. (Sculpture représentée p. 4202)
? BENEZIT, E. Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs. Paris:
Librairie Gru?nd, 1999. Tome 14. p. 603.
? Exposition internationale des arts et des techniques dans la vie moderne. Paris, 1937 .
Tome I (2e édition). [Liste des exposants.] "Catalogue" général officiel. Tome II.
Catalogue par pavillons.
Delevery information :
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24 500 €