cast by SIOT Paris
height 62 cm
Pierre-Félix Fix-Masseau, pseudonym of Pierre Félix Masseau (1869-1937) was a French sculptor. As a student at the fine arts School in Lyon, Pierre Félix Masseau received a scholarship to study in the studio of Gabriel-Jules Thomas in Paris, where he remained from 1889 to 1893. Then he became a student at the fine arts School of Paris. In 1879, he received a travel grant allowing him to visit Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, especially Florence and Naples.
Pierre-Félix Fix-Masseau frequented the circles of Symbolist writers in the 1890s. He had an eccentric personality and didn't hesitate to disguise himself in Christ. He lived withdrawn from the world and only frequented a few avant-garde circles such as the Théâtre de l'Oeuvre. Confidential in nature, he only opened his workshop to a few close friends.
Pierre-Félix Fix-Masseau was noticed by Auguste Rodin at the Salon des Artistes Français where he sent his works between 1890 and 1892. He exhibited under the name Félix Masseau then Fix-Masseau. The president of the Chamber of Commerce said of him to the director of the Beaux-Arts in Paris, in May 1894, that he "is a little influenced by our compatriot, the bizarre and powerful Jean-Joseph Carriès, but he really has a strong temperament”. At the beginning of the 1890s, Fix-Masseau was one of the main figures of Symbolist sculpture. From 1893, he exhibited regularly at the Salon of the National Society of Fine Arts in the section of sculpture as in that of art objects. His early research oriented him towards materials such as polychrome wax, marble, bronze, plaster, wood, ivory and ceramics. His workshop was located at Place Denfert-Rochereau in Paris.
In 1895, Fix-Masseau exhibited his work "Emprise" which established his fame as a Symbolist sculptor. This work was selected for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. The same year, he participated in the first Art Nouveau Salon in Paris. The Symbolists saw in him the sculptor of the neurosis and the invisible. Masks, expression heads and female figures are the support for an inner exploration of the soul. Fix-Masseau produced his most significant works in the last decade of the 19th century, notably "Le Secret", exhibited at the 1894 Salon, which was successful and bought by the State.
Fix-Masseau was marked by the ceramic experiments of Jean-Joseph Carriès. He contributed to the rapprochement between ceramics and the decorative arts. He wasn't limited to a single medium but he worked in all fields of decorative arts. He created objects in which fantasy and dreams mingle with the evocation of nature. In the middle of the 1890s, he associated the female figure with floral motifs, certain elements such as the hair where the drapery took on a strange importance, he incorporated the most diverse elements that reinforced the decorative aspect and explored the expressive properties of pewter, ivory, ceramics, researched for special patinas that he declined in inkwells, vases and candlesticks like "The Bad Host of the Night" exhibited at the Salon of the National Society of Fine Arts in 1897.
At the start of the 20th century, Fix-Masseau continued to exhibit at the Salon and the Salon d'Automne. In 1903, he exhibited in Brussels at "La Libre Esthétique". The same year, the deputy Pierre Baudin sent a request to the director of the Beaux-Arts in Paris: “The artist is in full maturity; his talent has reached its final expression. It is the moment, I believe, to admit it to be represented in Luxembourg”.
In 1913, Fix-Masseau became the director of the School of Decorative Arts in Limoges until 1935. He continued his artistic researches, in particular on materials such as sandstone, the tactile qualities of which he explored. His last sculpture was a Monument to Baudelaire that he took nearly ten years to create (Luxembourg garden).
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