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Léo Laporte-Blairsy "La Voie Lactée" Lighted Glass and Silvered Bronze Sculpture


This French Art Nouveau silvered bronze sculpture, entitled "La Voie Lactée," or "The Milky Way," by Léo Laporte-Blairsy, features a glass globe created by Daum Nancy. In this daring work, the spirit of creation is depicted as a regal, elegant beauty, draped in a swirling robe of cosmic dust scattered with stars and a bold star-shaped collar and stars in her long, flowing hair, as she gently suspends the expanding galaxy with an expression of intelligence and pride. The deep blue glass globe, adorned with white five-pointed stars, which represents the Milky Way itself, is framed by billowing sleeves and lit from within, signifying the artist's early embrace of electricity.

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Item #: S-19558
Artist: Léo Laporte-Blairsy, with glass by Daum Nancy
Circa: 1904
Dimensions: 16.25" height, 9.25" width, 8.25" depth
Materials: Silvered bronze, glass
Signed: "Léo Laporte-Blairsy" with foundry mark "Susse Frères Editeurs Paris"
Literature: Similar sculpture featured in Art Nouveau and Art Deco Lighting, by Alastair Duncan, New York, 1978, p. 111, fig. 52; Similar sculpture featured in The Paris Salons 1895-1914, Vol. V: Objets D'Art & Metalware, Woodbridge, 1999, p. 367 (design illustrated); Similar sculpture featured in Art Nouveau: The French Aesthetic, by Victor Arwas, London, Andreas Papadakis, 2002, modèle reproduit p. 270

To the critics of the avante-garde literary magazine, La Nouvelle Revue, the lighting of Léo Laporte-Blairsy was a heralded revelation. The magazine lauded Laporte-Blairsy as being "infinitely ingenious [...] the Scheherazade of electric lamps [...] bringing about a second enlightenment." While gas-powered of the time lighting required vents and open structure, Laporte-Blairsy used the globe as a balloon motif to trap and emit bewitching glows from incandescent electric lighting.