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Agathon Léonard

Dancer with Torches


Agathon Léonard
Lille, France, 1841 – Paris 1923


Dancer with Torches


About 1900




62.3 x 28 x 21.5 cm


Cast Susse Frères, Paris


Gift of Huguette Derouin-Weider, inv. 2017.34


Western Art

In 1899, the sculptor Agathon Léonard received a request from the famous Sèvres factory of ceramic for a group of fifteen figurines of dancers intended for a large porcelain centrepiece entitled Le jeu de l’écharpe. The resulting work was a huge success at the Exposition universelle of 1900, earning the artist a gold medal. The Susse foundry bought the reproduction rights for each of the dancers. This Dancer with Torches illustrates the feminine ideal held by the artists of the period: a graceful young girl, wearing a dress fastened by a large ribbon around her hips. At the turn of the twentieth century, in the context of Art Nouveau, many artists took inspiration from the theme of dance, which lent itself so beautifully to the motif of the arabesque and the fluidity of movement.

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