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Maurice Bouval "Femme aux Nénuphars" Lighted Figural Sculpture

This exquisite table lamp by Maurice Bouval, known as "Femme aux Nénuphars," showcases a nude nymph perched upon a water lily blossom illuminated by a frosted floriform shade. Artisan glassworkers meticulously shaped each petal's rim with precision, creating a subtly scalloped border. The lampshade's delicate design draws inspiration from the nivéole, often referred to as the "spring snowflake." These spring snowflakes flourish abundantly in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, spanning from the Vosges mountains to the banks of the Oise River. The lamp's stem is made of gilt bronze and gracefully divides into two meticulously crafted Nénuphar leaves and buds. The Nénuphars, or European white water lilies, held a special place as a recurring motif among the Ecole d’Nancy artists. Their timeless beauty presented a striking contrast to the more modern floral cultivars introduced at the Exposition Universelle, making the Nénuphar an enduring symbol of the bygone era of France. These Nénuphars thrived profusely along the banks of Nancy's river Meurthe, with their leaves elegantly submerged in the tumultuous currents of river bends, creating long, flowing ribbons beneath the water's surface.

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Item #: S-21335
Artist: Maurice Bouval
Country: France
Circa: 1900
Dimensions: 19" height, 10" width, 6" depth
Materials: Gilt Bronze, Glass
Signed: "M. Bouval", Foundry mark: "Colin".
Literature: Pictured in Dynamic Beauty, Sculpture of Art Nouveau Paris, by Macklowe Gallery Ltd., page 78.

The pairing between Nénuphars and nymphs was popularized by John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs, whereby the tragic youth Hylas is abducted by Naida (female water nymphs) while seeking drinking water. In Waterhouse’s rendition of the myth, a bevy of identical brunettes look up alluringly at Hylas with Nénuphars in their hair.