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The gallery will be closed Monday, 5/27 for Memorial Day
The gallery will be closed Monday, 5/27 for Memorial Day

Maurice Bouval "Woman with Iris" Gilt Bronze & Marble Bust

Maurice Bouval’s "Woman with Iris" is a nude gilt bronze bust of a woman. The woman’s hair clings to her face and body as if wet. The delicate sloping placement of a singular iris flower on the right side of the woman’s face includes the flower’s stem. The flower caresses the woman’s side, creating the illusion that the two are one singular being. While the iris and woman may be the only iconographic elements of the piece, the beauty in the simplicity of composition is highlighted in the delicate lines in the striped-marble base on which the sculpture rests.

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  • Curator's Notes

Item #: YS-20982
Artist: Maurice Bouval
Country: France
Circa: 1900
Dimensions: 9.5" high x 6" wide x 4" deep
Materials: Gilt Bronze, Marble
Signed: “M. Bouval” Foundry Mark “Jollet & Cie Bronzes Paris”.
Literature: Duncan, Alastair. Art Nouveau Sculpture. United States: New York, 1978, p 48 V. Arwas, Art Nouveau, The French Aesthetic, London, 2002, p. 234, a similar composition example illustrated of his Ophelia work. Duncan, Alastair. Art Nouveau and Art Deco Lighting. United Kingdom: Simon and Schuster, 1978. 69

This bust is an exemplary show of Bouval’s mastery of the hybrid flower-woman motif in bronze. This artwork is visually similar to his Ophelia bust, which differs only in the flowers, poppies, and the woman’s pose, head tilted back with eyes closed. The comparison of the two works shows us the demand for a subject manner that harkens back to the days of William Shakespeare and the fascination of the Renaissance the artists known as the Pre-Raphaelites aim to create at this time. This piece is a fine addition to any collection, especially one that aims to capture the tastes of the era.