Flanders and France: Two Allegories Steal the Spotlight

On 14 September 2021, by Philippe Dufour

symbolic figures as seen by a painter of the Flemish school and a French sculptor with an eclectic style paved the way for more modern artists.

Flemish school, 17th century, Allégorie du feu, oil on copper, traces of a signature starting with “BR…” on the bottom right, 68.5 x 87/27 x 34.3 in.
Result: €15,860

The highest bid—€15,860— went to Allégorie du feu (Allegory of Fire), a painting on copper by a 17th-century Flemish artist who has remained anonymous despite traces of a signature starting with “BR…” on the bottom right. The lively scene depicts Fire helping people, and features some key details: an armor-clad warrior from antiquity (possibly Mars) and accoutrements made in a forge visible in the background—armor, helmets, a ewer and gold objects—as a fortress bursts into flames after an explosion.

La Nature se dévoilant devant la Science (Nature Revealing Itself to Science), a bronze sculpture with several patinas by Louis-Ernest Barrias, signed on the base with the foundry’s round stamp, “Susse Frères Éditeurs, Paris” (h. 64.5 cm/25.4 in), fetched €13,664. Another, much bolder piece, Taureau dans l’arène (Bull in the Ring), an enameled oval ceramic dish created by Pablo Picasso for the Madoura de Vallauris studio (31.9 x 38.8 cm/12.6 x 15.3 in), sold for €15,448. The back features a monogram and the mark "Edition Picasso", as well as two incised stamps, “Madoura plein feu” and “D’après Picasso”. Charles-Henri Molins’ Skieur dans la pente (Downhill Skier), a chryselephantine bronze (53 x 39.5 cm/20.9 x 15.6 in), wrapped up the sale at €10,980.

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