Musée Bourdelle/Roger Viollet


Created for Montauban, Antoine Bourdelle's birthplace, the Monument aux morts, aux combattants et serviteurs du Tarn-et-Garonne de 1870-1871 [The War Memorial to the Defenders of 1870–1871] – also known as Les Combattants [The Defenders] – is a tribute to the soldiers of the Tarn-et-Garonne département who fell in the Franco-Prussian War. While marked by the final defeat at Sedan, it also celebrates hoped-for vengeance and the birth of the Third Republic after the collapse of the Second Empire.

When he won the competition for this substantial commission in 1895, Antoine Bourdelle was thirty-four. Taking inspiration from Rodin, whose studio assistant he was at the time, he designed the work as a grouping of eloquent figures. In the course of seven years of exploration and studies, he developed a personal language that marked a turning point in his career and would soon feed into Héraklès archer (Herakles the Archer, 1906–1909) and Centaure mourant (Dying Centaur, 1911–1914). The group sculpture was also the subject of a major photographic corpus.

Before its official unveiling in Montauban on 14 September 1902, the monument had been exhibited in Paris during the spring of that year, at the prestigious Salon of the National Society for the Fine Arts. On show for all to see outside the Grand Palais, it stood out as a paragon of contemporary sculpture. At once much admired and the subject of radical differences of critical opinion at the time, this masterpiece remains by and large little known. Thus this exhibition sets out to right a wrong by presenting studies and variations in clay, plaster and bronze based on the work, together with 130 photographs. The finished work is also the focus of Les Combattants, a video commissioned from Olivier Dollinger the teaser of which you is unveiled right here.
For the most part never shown before, these works reveal the stunning creative profuseness of an artist who was both sculptor and photographer.




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Plein tarif : 7€ Tarif réduit : 5 €
Acceso para discapacitados:

Chloë Théault, conservatrice du Patrimoine, responsable des collections et du fonds de photographies au musée Bourdelle 
Colin Lemoine, responsable du fonds de sculptures au musée Bourdelle.

Florence Viguier-Dutheil, conservatrice en chef, directrice du musée Ingres de Montauban 
Amélie Simier, conservatrice générale du Patrimoine, directrice du musée Bourdelle