Firebirds - Art by Alfred Daguet
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Alfred Daguet
Firebirds

ca 1910

About

Alfred Daguet explored the subject of stylized birds multiple times in his studio. He was more than capable of rendering his zoomorphic subject matter naturalisticly; however he chose to treat the Phoenix in a stylized manner reminiscent of ancient and Medieval cultures. This treatment lends the image a timeless quality and reinforces the themes of regeneration, the cycle of life and its inherent mysteries which were becoming increasingly important to Daguet. In this box for safekeeping, he mines Insular and Egyptian sources for inspiration. Daguet’s own interest was augmented by contemporary currents. Egyptology, considered by the French state to be a “national science,” was well-funded at the university level resulting in important acquisitions for the Louvre. Frequent news coverage of this subject also created an excitement among Parisians. Another hot topic of the day was Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes whose The Firebird debuted in Paris in 1910 with an original score by Igor Stravinsky. An instant cause celebre, the Parisians went wild for the production which fused Russian folklore with mythology in an opulent show of visual and musical artistry. As with the Ballets Russes, Daguet found deep meaning in ancient artistic traditions and refashioned it to fit a modern context. Alfred Louis Achille DAGUET (1875 - 1942) was a metalsmith active in Paris during the first part of the 20th century. His metalwork created prior to the outbreak of World War I, noteworthy for its versatility and virtuosity, is the most sought-after among collectors today. Daguet mined many sources for inspiration be they Egyptian, Celtic, Japanese, Byzantine, Medieval or contemporary. He received formal training under the painters, Gerome and Clairin, both academicians associated with the Ecole des Beaux-Arts who had traveled to Egypt and explored themes of orientalism in their work. Daguet’s studio in Paris was located at 22 rue de Provence, just above Siegfried Bing’s influential L’Art Nouveau boutique. It is this association with Bing that is most significant to Daguet’s metier and what firmly places his work in art historical context. As a promoter and purveyor of Japanese objects, Bing capitalized on the craze for japonisme by expanding his commercial galleries from 1895-1904 to include artist workshops capable of making everything conceivable to create harmonious interior spaces. Daguet’s finely-worked repousse copper sheets clad many decorative letter and desk boxes sold at Bing’s shop in the early-1900s. These boxes which Daguet often further embellished with colored glass unquestionably reflect the tenets of the Art Nouveau aesthetic. In addition to boasting famous clientele such as Sarah Bernhardt who followed him to his studio on rue du Faubourg Saint-Jaques following Bing’s death in 1905 and the closure of his store, l’Art Nouveau, Daguet’s work achieved critical success with inclusion in group expositions at the Musee Galliera, Paris, 1905, 1926; Salons of the Societe des Artistes Francais: 1900, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1909, 1910; and the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, 1901.

Details

  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Condition Details
    Signed Daguet, undated
  • Dimensions
    H 2.25 in. x W 9.25 in. x D 9 in.H 5.72 cm x W 23.5 cm x D 22.86 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Chicago, IL
  • Reference Number
    LU46731310623
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About the Seller

5 / 5
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1stdibs seller since 2016
Located in Chicago, IL
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