Au But (To the Goal), c.1890

by Alfred Boucher

P.O.A.

This superb sculpture, Au But, is one of Alfred Boucher’s best-known models, depicting three athletes in the last desperate moments of a race, each stretching a hand forward to touch the finishing line.

Boucher exhibited the model for the first time at the Salon of 1886 and it proved an instant hit with critics and public alike. The sculpture was awarded a first class medal and the State commissioned a life-size bronze version to be exhibited at the Salon in 1887 and then placed in the Luxembourg Gardens, where it remained until it was destroyed during Nazi occupation.

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 26.8 x 40.2 x 18.1 ins/ 68.1 x 102.1 x 46.0 cm
MEDIUM: Bronze
SIGNATURE: Inscribed ‘A. BOUCHER’ and ‘F. BARBEDIENNE Fondeur Paris’ (on the base)

 

Au But, is one of Alfred Boucher’s best-known models, depicting three athletes in the last desperate moments of a race, each stretching a hand forward to touch the finishing line.

Boucher exhibited the model for the first time at the Salon of 1886 and it proved an instant hit with critics and public alike. The sculpture was awarded a first class medal and the State commissioned a life-size bronze version to be exhibited at the Salon in 1887 and then placed in the Luxembourg Gardens, where it remained until it was destroyed during Nazi occupation.

The impact of the sculpture is based on the powerful dynamism of the athletes and their precarious balance on the base, as the entire group seems to thrust forward. Boucher’s friend, the explorer Gabriel Bonvalot posed for the artist as he modelled the three energetic figures. Reductions of the life-size bronze were cast by Siot-Decauville in six sizes, of which the present cast is an example of the second largest size.

Private Collection, United Kingdom

Buy with confidence: our assurance to you

Professional Associations

We have built up a strong reputation for the quality of the paintings, drawings and sculpture that we curate, exhibit and sell. Our professional associations with bodies such as The British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) and the Association of Art & Antique Dealers (LAPADA) are as a result of our reputation for integrity, our wide knowledge of fine arts and the high quality of our stock. Our business standards and expertise are reviewed regularly to adhere vigorously with enforced Codes. Our memberships and commitment to its Code of Conducts, gives our buyers confidence when purchasing a work from us.

Authenticity

Condition reports and certificates of authenticity vary in their nature by artwork, for more information on your pieces of interest, please enquire with the gallery.

Artwork images

We take pride in the attention we give to our images of the artworks for purchase and invest in these to ensure outputs are aligned as closely as possible to the item in reality. We do not apply filters or modify images, we provide high quality images to reflect the high quality of our artworks.

Your purchase process

Payment processing – You can be assured that payments are securely processed through Worldpay’s trusted payment gateway.

The Trinity House promise to you

Shipping and packaging

Shipping and packaging requirements are assessed per piece to ensure the most suitable protection for the artwork. Trinity House will therefore call following purchase to agree the recommendations and costs.

Our After Sales services

We offer the following services which we will be happy to discuss with you following your purchase, alternatively you can enquire for more information.

Insurance

We offer insurance appraisals to protect your prised artwork and help you find the right cover and policy for you.

Framing

We are able to advise on framing and have access to every type and style to suit any artistic period or room setting.

Conservation

The nature of the materials involved in a painting mean that on occasion some pieces are susceptible to movement and the effects of natural ageing. We are able to provide advice on practical measures to conserve the original condition of a piece and have relationships with restorers and framers to offer you a range of services to meet your needs.

Alfred Boucher was a French 19th Century sculptor, who was a friend of Auguste Rodin and the mentor to Camille Claudel.

Born in Bouy-sur-Ovin in 1850, Boucher was the son of a farmhand who became the gardener of the sculptor Joseph-Marius Ramus who after recognizing Boucher’s talent opened his studio to him.

He first studied at the School of Fine Arts in Paris under Paul Dubois, before he went on to study under Joseph Ramus and Augustin Dumont.

He first exhibited in 1874 at the Paris Salon, showing Child at the Fountain and a Portrait receiving a bronze medal; in 1881 he was awarded the Prix du Salon with his work, La Piété Filiale. Among Boucher’s many achievements, in 1887 he was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur, in 1891 he received the medal of honour; in 1900 the Grand Prix at the Exposition Universelle and in 1925 he was promoted to Grand-Officier of the Légion d’Honneur.

Boucher provided inspiration and encouragement to the next generation of sculptors, including Laure Coutan and Camille Claudel. Before moving to Florence and after having taught Claudel and others for over three years, Boucher asked Auguste Rodin to take over the instruction of his pupils. This is how Auguste Rodin and Claudel met and their romantic relationship started.

Following this he moved to Florence for a long period of time and was one of the favourite sculptors of presidents and royalty such as George I of Greece and Maria-Pia of Romania.

Ever generous and philanthropic, he founded the studio ‘La Ruche’ in Montparnasse in 1902 to help young artists that had nowhere to work. He received the Grand Prix de sculpture de l’Exposition Universelle in 1900.

Today, in addition to the pieces in museum collections, Boucher’s work can be seen at the Paul Dubois-Alfred Boucher museum at Nogent-sur-Seine.

 

    Your Message


    You may also like…

    Go to Top