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)