Final version of the head on a large base

  • Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929)

  • 67,3 cm x 21 cm x 28 cm
  • 1900-1909
  • Bronze
  • MB br. 300
  • Paris, musée Bourdelle
  • Salle 9

Bourdelle learnt the lessons of Greek art well, and drew on the great mythological figures as an " inexhaustible source of humanity " - Tête d'Apollon (Head of Apollo) (1898-1909), Pénélope (1905-1912), Héraklès archer (Hercules the Archer) (1910), Le Centaure mourant (The Dying Centaur) (1911-1914), La méditation d'Apollon et les Muses (The Meditation of Apollon and the Muses) (1912)... His sculpted work includes over forty subjects from antiquity.

Apollo was the sun god who presided over the games of the Muses, and inspired poets and soothsayers. This inspiration was all the more radiant for being delivered by the golden arrow of the warrior sun god.

Modelled circa 1898, abandoned then begun again in 1900, the Tête d'Apollon (Head of Apollo) took its final form in 1909. Bourdelle wanted it to be " Austere, worried, free of any past ". Free from the influence of Rodin and superficial virtuosities. The architecture of the face, with its pure edges, on an almost Cubist base, bears the trace of the crevices, cracks and scars of the original mask that Bourdelle reworked "in search of the permanent plane" to win the fight of creation. The demands of the artist meet the precept of the civilising god, engraved on the Delphi temple : "Nothing too much".

Notice's author : Jérôme Godeau