The Poet and the Siren by Émmanuel Hannaux

  • Le Poète et la Sirène is regarded as the masterpiece of Émmanuel Hannaux's impressive oeuvre
  • Created for the Salon of 1903, the intricately carved, sensuous group won him a medal of honor
  • Masterfully composed, it captures a poet holding in his arms the nude figure of a siren
  • It represents the aesthetic appeal and exoticism of design of the Art Nouveau period
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-2384

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Émmanuel Hannaux
1855-1934 | French

Le Poète et la Sirène
(The Poet and the Siren)


Signed "E. Hannavx"
Bronze

Le Poète et la Sirène is regarded as the masterpiece of Émmanuel Hannaux's impressive oeuvre. Created for the French Salon of 1903, the intricately carved, sensuous group won the artist a medal of honor, and it is widely regarded as his most accomplished work. Masterfully composed, it captures a poet holding in his arms the nude figure of a siren, complete with her mermaid's tail. His outstretched arm grasps his lyre, but his attention is solely upon the beautiful creature who lays across his lap in a pose that is both sensual and graceful. As a whole, it represents the aesthetic appeal and exoticism of design of the Art Nouveau period.

The Sirens are among the most popular mythological subjects in the whole of art history, known for luring travelers to destruction with their melodious voices. The most well-known Siren lore comes from Homer’s Odyssey, in which they tempt the famed Odysseus on his journey home to Ithaca after the fall of Troy. Odysseus could not resist his chance to hear the famed song of the Sirens, as so, on the advice of the goddess Circe, he ordered his men to plug their ears and to tie him to the mast of his ship. No matter how much he struggled to reach the Sirens, his men kept him bound, and so he became the first to successfully hear — and survive — the Sirens’ song. 

The subject of the Siren and the Poet also dates back to antiquity, though it is somewhat more of an enigma. An ancient Greek sculpture group of a seated poet and two sirens in the collection of the Getty is one of the earliest known renditions of the subject. It is believed the poet may represent Orpheus, who famously helped Jason resist the call of the Sirens. He may also be a mere mortal who has prevailed over the Sirens and triumphed over death. In either case, the fascinating grouping has intrigued artists for centuries, having been rendered by the likes of Gustave Moreau and Marc Chagall in addition to sculptors like Hannaux.

35" wide x 18" deep x 38 1/2" high
The Poet and the Siren by Émmanuel Hannaux
Period: 1816-1918
Origin: France
Type: Sculpture
Depth: 18.0 Inches
Width: 35.0 Inches
Height: 38.5 Inches
Style: Art Nouveau

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