Published 3rd March 2009
One of my favourite forms of sculpture is Austrian cold painted bronzes. Possibly the greatest exponent of the art of miniature bronzes was Franz Bergman (1838-1894). His bronze subjects were wide ranging, from birds and animals, carpet sellers to American Indians, erotic semi-naked females to reptiles. This study of an elephant with a seated rider is a magnificant study of power and muscle.
Franz Bergman was very quick to seize on popular subjects of the day and model them in bronze. During the Egyptian revival period, scantily clad bronze nude females would rise up from spring loaded Egyptian sarcophagae. Arab street sellers were modelled seated on carpets with their wares spread out before them. Cats modelled in the style of Louis Wain were extremely popular. This impressive bronze of an Asian (Indian) elephant with howdah strapped to its back draped with woven blankets shows the majesty of this beast of burden.
The model is stamped underneath the stomach with the Bergman vase stamp, serial or model number and 'Geschutzt' or Patent. This Bergman bronze model of an Indian elephant is to be included in our Fine Art Sale on the 22nd/23rd April with an estimate of £1500 - 2000.