The Art Deco period was renowned for its sculptures featuring high quality figures with rhythm and movement. During this time, a new style of decorative art emerged that was a complete change from the heavy romantic late nineteenth century style. This new style was inspired by the joie de vivre of the young society of the 1920s. At the forefront of this movement was Romanian born sculptor, Demetre Chiparus who is now considered to be one of the masters of Art Deco bronzes.
Born in 1886, Chiparus began to show interest in sculpture art at a young age. He began his studies in Italy and later in France, where he studied under famous artists such as Mercié and J. Boucher at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. It was in Paris where he perfected his famed chryselephantine technique. This process involved employing a combination of carved ivory and bronze to create stunning, lifelike sculptures. The combination of the cold-painted bronze along with the ivory to depict flesh was unlike anything seen before. Inspired by Russian ballet and French theater, Chiparus created a theatrical female form in his sculptures. These bronze women are depicted as long and slender and are often adorned in elegant costumes.
We are fortunate to have a spectacular and rare sculpture by Chiparus here at M.S. Rau. Entitled, Friends Forever, this piece features a delicate female and her canine companions crafted of bronze and ivory set atop a stunning onyx and marble base. This graceful figure is as detailed as it is engaging. The etched signature "D.H. Chiparus" is found on the base and the foundry stamp "L.N/Paris/J.L." is found on the woman's skirt. Come by our gallery today to see this remarkable Art Deco chryselephantine sculpture in person.