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We will be closed Monday, 7/1 through Friday, 7/5, reopening Monday, 7/8

Marius Mars-Vallet "Sarah Bernhardt as Princess Lointaine" Bronze Sculpture

This captivating patinated bronze sculpture depicts the legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt as Mélissinde in Edmond Rostand’s play “La Princesse Lointaine” by Marius Mars-Vallet (1869-1957). The show is based on the Princesse Lointaine archetype, a role meant to embody loving someone unattainable. Thus Bernhardt dons a medieval-style gown accompanied by a headdress that hangs around the actress’s necklace and face, which she touches with one finger as if wiping away a tear. The billowing fabric of Bernhardt’s dress rests on a umber granite base.

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  • Curator's Notes

Item #: YS-20985
Artist: Marius Mars-Vallet
Country: France
Circa: 1900
Dimensions: 13" high, 4.5" diameter
Materials: Gilt Bronze, Patinated Bronze
Signed: “Mars Vallet” Foundry Mark , Slot-Decauville Fondeur Paris. H7
Literature: Duncan, Alastair. Art Nouveau Sculpture. United States: New York, 1978, p 48

A bonafide collector’s item, this statue of Sarah Bernhardt captures the actress in her famous role as Mélissinde. Bernhardt’s fame was so tremendous for an actress of her time that an item like this would be a theater fanatic’s prized possession. Elements of the sculpture that make this piece uniquely shine include the costume’s belt pattern of scrolling vines that echoes in the other decorative elements of her costume, such as her headdress and the decorative seams found on Bernhardt’s skirts.