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A fine Antique bronze “Femme Nue Dansant" circa 1910-30
By Francesco La Monaca 1882-1937 signed to edge,
It also has the mark of one of the worlds best founders “Attilio Valsuani Paris”.
Of fine colour and patination on a green speckled marble base.
Francis La Monaca , French surname of Francesco La Monaca , born on February 10 , 1882 in Catanzaro ( Italy ), and died in Washington ( United States ) on February 5 , 1937, is a painter and sculptor Italian naturalized French Biography Francesco La Monaca was born in a modest family, at 74 rue Bellevue in Catanzaro , Calabria ( Italy ), the February 10, 1882 2. His father, Antonio La Monaca, is a carpenter and his mother, Rosaria Cristal, is a spinner. Parents and witnesses, two shoemakers of the parish, will not be able to sign the birth certificate, for lack of not being able to read and write.
He goes to his local elementary school and then to high school. He is a good student, but already has a strong taste for the arts. Yet he commits himself November 30 , 1901 to the 190th Infantry Regiment and take the officer cadet course. He becomes the youngest officer in Italy, as the Sunday Courier reports. Vincent Groan's assistant, he came in 1903 to enter the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples , without success. Deciding to embrace this artistic career, he obtained an unlimited leave on November 7 and went to Paris , enrolled at the National School of Fine Arts in the workshops of sculptors Gabriel-Jules Thomas (1824-1905) and Jean Antoine Injalbert (1845-1933). He lives miserably, chaining the small trades. He frequents Parisian artistic circles and meets Pablo Picasso , Henri Matisse and Amedeo Modigliani , without being influenced by their aesthetic choice. Between 1906 and 1907, he moved around the Boulevard Saint-Germain and began to earn some money by making decorative designs for Parisian buildings and stores.
From 1909 begins a period of fertile creativity. He exhibited at the Salon of French Artists in 1909 and received recognition from his peers. He unsuccessfully drafted a contest for the construction of a monument in honor of Andrea Cefaly in his hometown. The local newspaper You Youth describes him as a young and valiant sculptor. In 1911, La Monaca lived at No. 28 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs in Paris, where the artists of the Sacred Art Workshops , and sells her first religious works.
He begins to be noticed by Parisian high society and collectors come to him. His financial situation having improved, he moved to No. 7 rue Belloni and, in 1914, he was put in touch with Marie-Sophie of Bavaria , former queen consort of the Two Sicilies , with whom he will maintain a long friendship. She commissioned reproductions of religious subjects and silver representations of the dancers of Serge de Diaghilev's famous Ballets Russes for the tsar and his wife on the occasion of their silver wedding. The First World War burst, the work will be suspended. Only the effigy of Tamara Karsavina remains of this order.
After unsuccessfully trying to get involved, he left for London where, in 1915, suffering from a gastric ulcer, he was hospitalized in Middlesex . For lack of financial means, he can not find a studio in London and decides to return to France. On December 11, he landed in Dieppe and returned to the capital.
In addition to sculpture, he devoted himself to painting and, in 1916, worked for the newspaper L'Illustration as a war correspondent. In 1917, he made a stay in Trouville where he still suffers from his ulcer. He moved to No. 17 avenue Trudaine in Paris.
The war ended, he organized a solo exhibition at the Marigny Gallery in 1919. In July 1920, he traveled to the United States with his secretary George Sisson, an American he had met in Menton . He leads a gold mining activity there and will know the fortune, but dubious investments leads to bankruptcy. It was not productive in this period and only a series of so-called Golden Researchers statues remain in Alaska . After this experience, he separates from his secretary and returns to Europe. Embarked in New York , he arrived in England on May 5th. There, he reconnects with his old relations from the period of the Great War, opens a workshop and portraits of London personalities. He made a remarkable exhibition at the Fine Art Gallery, where he exhibited 34 bronze and marble bust he made in five months for this exhibition.
In 1923 he became interested in ceramics and joined the Tanagra factory. But bad management will lead two years later the company to bankruptcy. To cope, he must sell the land he had bought with the money from the London show. In 1925, Paul Reboux devotes an article in Paris-Soir on November 28 3 . The October 26 , 1927 He is interviewed by the Italian writer Milly Cardona for the People's Gazette .
Francis La Monaca participated in the 1927 contest for a monument to General Maceo at the request of Cespedes, Minister of Cuba in Paris. He realized the same year the Monument to Eugène Cornuché , creator of the flowered beach gardens of Pavillon de Deauville. He is named knight of the Legion of Honor . He signs a contract with Goldscheider for the reproduction of exotic animal sculptures. He finished some equestrian statuettes including After the race .
The January 20 , 1928 In spite of the suffering due to his ulcer, he took part in the fete given by Georges Bernheim in his honor. In March, he went to Monte Carlo but, still suffering, he went to Italy to consult Professor Murri, who confirmed the need for an operation that took place on June 20, carried out by his friend Victor Pauchet. He went to convalescence in Brittany where he devoted himself to painting.
In 1929, he moved to his new studio rue Laffitte in Paris 4 where he made a series of small animals. In 1930 he completed the Bacchante group he presented at the Salon des artistes français . In 1931, he finished Accordion Player and went to Dieppe to portray the American Mrs. O'Donner and, in September, painted the portrait of Madame Miracca , better known as Paysanne Lombarde . In December, he performs the Portrait of Monsieur Merio .
In January 1932, La Monaca leaves in London with the widow of the painter Giovanni Boldini , Émilie Cardona, whom he marries the February 4, 1932 . On February 6, the couple returned to Paris, and on April 22 they left for Italy. A reception in their honor takes place at the Circle of Artists of Genoa, then they go to Venice for the inauguration of the Biennial . At the beginning of May, the couple is in Rome where La Monaca opens an ephemeral workshop in Sallustio Square. In Rome, he made the portraits of General Maggiotto, Anna and Ghighi of Marzio, Marteaux, Senator Emilio Bodrero, the little De Giacomo and a female portrait statuette.
The following year, he meets André Breton . He presents at the Salon Accordion Player , intended to be placed in a garden. He made portraits of Chatelaine, Mara Spiridovitch, Nouvion, Amédée Bumière, Guarnati and Minister Heretis. He is a member of the jury of Miss France 1936 .
He was to portray President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 4 , but he died on the night of February 5, 1937 , preceding the appointment of the first pose. His remains were repatriated to France where he received the honors of the French and Italian authorities. He rests in the old cemetery of Neuilly-sur-Seine .
The Valsuani foundry was started by the Italian brothers Claude and Attilio Valsuani who learned the foundry trade while employed at the famous Hébrard art foundry. While working for Hébrard, Claude Valsuani showed great promise as a finisher and eventually worked his way up to become the Technical Director of the Hébrard foundry. In 1899 Claude Valsuani started his own foundry in Châtillon, casting mostly small works for various artists primarily using the lost wax technique of casting (cire perdue). In 1905 he moved his foundry to 74, rue des Plantes in Paris.
Among the better known sculptors who had the Valsuani foundry cast their works were: Degas, Rodin, Renoir, Gauguin, Maillol, Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse, Giacometti, Brancusi, etc.
The Valsuani foundry quickly acquired a great reputation, particularly for its outstanding mastery of lost wax casting.
Claude Valsuani was also « (…) celebrated for the beautiful patinas he created with a blowtorch », a technique imported from Italy which, he said, « did not leave [any] deposit of carbon» and gave the sculptures a beautiful glossy aspect. One of the foundry’s most famous patinas until now is called the noir Valsuani (Valsuani black).
Last but not least, Claude Valsuani was among the first casters to fight against counterfeiting and unauthorized editions by marking each sculpture with the total number of casts in a series as part of his numerical notation (eg. 1/10).
Claude Valsuani died in 1923 in his native Italy, but his son, Marcele, took over the running of the foundry and continued to produce extremely fine detailed bronzes until the 1970's.