Bronze with a nuanced brown patina
cast by LEBLANC-BARBEDIENNE Fils
early 20th century
height 32,5 cm
Eugène Léon L'Hoëst (1874-1937) was a French sculptor. He was one of the great figures of Orientalist sculpture. From a Walloon father and an Angevin mother, he spent his childhood in Anjou where he worked for the sculptor Amédée Charron, whose angels and the Virgin Mary were carved by him. After studying art in Angers, he moved to Paris, rue Descartes, then rue de Vaugirard. L'Hoëst entered in 1891 in the studio of Gabriel-Jules Thomas, then professor at the School of Fine Arts in Paris. He was admitted definitively in 1895. He later worked with the sculptor Alfred Lanson. L'Hoëst moved to a workshop on the Rue des Dames in the 17th arrondissement, which he kept until the end of his life. He participated for the first time at the Salon of the Society of French Artists in 1893, presenting the bust of Jegu, then city councilor in Angers. The following year was devoted to his military service, and in 1895 he presented at the Salon "Modestia", for which he received an honorable mention. At the same time, he obtained the first Atelier prize of the Beaux-Arts School with a work entitled "Pro Patria". He participated in the Universal Exhibition of 1900 in Paris, and received a third class medal the same year at the Salon of the Society of French Artists.
In 1906, Eugène Léon L'Hoëst won a travel grant for his group "Idylle". He visited Italy, Sicily, Tunisia and Algeria from where he brought back his most popular work, "Three Arab Musicians", exposed at the Salon. In 1908, for the burial of Suarez, he made a stone monument for which he directed its work in Alexandria, Egypt. He took this opportunity to travel to Upper Egypt and visited Luxor, Aswan and the Philae Temple. Impressed by his travels, L'Hoëst made the representation of the physical types of North Africa then his favorite theme. In 1911, the artist presented at the Salon of the Society of French Orientalist painters, a dozen sculptures made in plaster or bronze inspired by Egypt and Algeria. He received a second class medal at the Salon of 1912. After the First World War, L'Hoëst participated in the Salon des Independants and again at the Salon of the Society of French Artists. He also participated in the Salon of the Colonial Society of French Artists, at the Colonial Exhibition of Marseille in 1922, at the International Colonial Exhibition of 1931 in Paris, or at the Salon of the Society of French Orientalist Painters of 1933 and at the second colonial exhibition of Naples in 1934.
The work of L'Hoëst was made up of many orders among which "Heroic France", "Tribute to Agriculture", the Monument of Grignon, the War Memorials of Pont-Audemer and Vaires-sur-Marne, as well as busts of personalities. The Barbedienne foundry edited in bronze some of the artist's sculptures, including "Three Arabian Musicians", "Nubian carrying baskets", "Bedouin at the market", "Oriental dancer", and "Porteuse de Rebbia". As for the Susse Foundry, she edited "La Grande Caravane" or "Berber Family returning from the market". Some fine sandstone editions were produced by the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, as "A tam-tam player" and "Daba and darbouka players",published in 1932 after the models bought in 1911.
Among the many museums preserving works by Eugène Léon L'Hoëst, the Musée d'Orsay in Paris exhibits two sculptures by the artist: "Young Fellah carrying water" and "Water carrier from Luxor", both executed in Cairo.