Felix-Maurice Charpentier, 'Flours Que Amavo'
There are a few sculptors who go the extra mile. My list is not complete yet, but Bernini and Clodion are good examples of what I mean and equate in Music to Bach and Mozart.
Here is a new addition to my list Felix-Maurice Charpentier 1858-1928.
In 1912 (a very good year for lots of reasons in the world of Art) he exhibited this unique marble, 93 inches, with the tile of “Flours Que Amavo” (in the Languedoc vernacular).
An important point is that I assume Charpentier cut this himself. It is a one off, although a metre high copy in plaster was made subsequently and is now thought to be in the Musee Calvert.
Sotheby’s write up is naturally ‘up beat’ in their 2005 catalogue and so in my opinion it should be.
I borrow their line as I can’t do it better;
Charpentier successfully communicates the synergy between the visual sense of the female form with the perceived smell as she inhales the bouquet of flowers, her eyes closed in an expression of ecstasy. This heightening of the senses is explored further with the treatment of the marble; the roughly hewn background contrasting both with the impressionistic carving of the flowers and the smooth sensual execution of her body.
…and I would add… the ‘tip toe’ pose which I usually dislike but find in this case wholly appropriate. I feel that this is almost 'in the round' and not a relief in the true sense.
.. and to the lucky new owner;
I hope you appreciate this magnificent work as much as I would and allow your guests to see it.