MacDougall Auctions 12-18 June 2008

12 June 2008

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Woman with a Snake

100. LIPCHYTZ, SAMUEL 1880-1943

Woman with a Snake figure stamped "S. Lipchytz".

Cold-painted bronze with patina, carved ivory, on a Porter marble base, 42 by 21 by 12 cm.

Provenance: Private collection.

Literature: Art Deco Sculpture: from Root to Flourishing, Vol 2, Russian House Art Deco, 2008-2009.

A Russian immigrant, from the time Lipchytz arrived in Paris he signed his work using varying styles to inscribe his surname. He was a permanent member of the Paris salon where his small, delicate works found unfailing success. A feature of the master’s creative style was the perceptible influence of Greek terracotta sculpture. Celebrated tanagra statuettes from Boeotia, the chief subject of which was a draped female figure, displayed somewhat elongated proportions, which made their heads, on long, beautifully turned necks, appeared quite small. This feature, vividly interpreted by Lipchytz, imparted a grandiosity and lightness to his sculptures and the sharp angles of aspect and extravagant compositions most favoured by him were called upon to convey the “free spirit” of the emancipated woman of the 1920s.

Snake dancing represents a ritual of Indian culture that introduced 1920s audiences to the exotic nature of Asia. French art was inspired by the Russian Seasons ballet troupe, and it was their productions Scheherezade, Cleopatra and Salome of 1909-1913, and the spicy allure of the East that seemed to grip the stages of Parisian cabaret. Indian dancers were hugely popular and particularly Uday Shankar. His body was unusually flexible and this was accentuated by his use of an Indian python as an eccentric prop, which required great ability and experience, and even more so when performing a dance.

For more information please refer to printed catalogue

Woman with a Snake
Woman with a Snake

Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.