Esprit de la Seine, 2017
46 x 30 x 20 cm
Bronze edition of 6 + AP
I chose to sculpt my dear friend for her enigmatic smile. It reminds me of the expression forever held by an anonymous young woman, L’Inconnue de la Seine. Artistic legend shrouds L’Inconnue de la Seine, or La Bella Italienne as she is known in America. In the late 1880s a young woman, who was no more than 16 years old, drowned in the Seine. (Her body revealed no signs of violence and it was determined that she had committed suicide.) The narrative handed down from one generation of artists to the next tells us that a pathologist in a Paris mortuary was so captivated by this young woman’s beauty that the thought of it being lost forever was unbearable. It is said that he preserved her gentle expression in an exquisite death mask, copies of which are synonymous with an academic training in art.
Exhibited in bronze at the Chelsea Art Society Annual Exhibition, Chelsea Town Hall, London (2018) and FACE 2018, The Society of Portrait Sculptors, La Galleria Pall Mall, London (2018).