Emile Antoine BOURDELLE

Native placeMontauban, FRA
Dead placeLe Vesinet, FRA


Bourdelle was born in Montauban in France. He did wood-carving while helping with the family business of cabinet-mak-ing. After attending the Ecole des Beaux- Arts in Toulouse, he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1884 and worked with Falguiere. He left after two years to study with Dalou and became Rodin's assistant in 1893. He learned Rodin's formal vocabulary of passionate modeling but escaped the influence of Rodin with his Head of Apollo in 1900, beginning his exploration of a new sculptural order composed of clearly defined planes and volumes. In 1909 he had a major success with Herakles Archer. He used his ability to synthesize linear and perpendicular forms with a strong rhythm in architectural structures in a number of monuments including the monument to the poet Mickiewicz (1908-1929) and the equestrian monument of General Alvear (1912-1925). Bourdelle was an important figure in French sculpture after Rodin and he influenced a number of Japanese sculptors including Shimizu Takashi.

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