In search for the best antiques, Ghent (Belgium) provided us an opportunity to enhance our stock with rare items. Among others, a rare white metal alloy bust made by Georges Van der Straeten (1856-1928).
Van der Straeten was born in Gent, Belgium en worked mainly in Paris, France. He became well known as an artist, but was active as a lawyer as well until 1882. Georges mastered great technical skills and produced many busts of young Parisian women. Georges developed his own style during the ‘Belle Époque’ period in France, which can be related to ‘Art nouveau’. Art Nouveau was most popular between 1890 and 1910 and several art forms were often inspired by natural dynamic curved ‘moving’ forms such as plants and flowers.
The ‘Belle Époque’ period started around 1880 and characterized optimism, peace, economic prosperity and cultural innovations. Van der Straeten translated that optimism as one of the first artists in his work. He is still known as the pioneer of the optimism translated into the Parisian genre in sculpturing.
Most of his works are made with bronze, often patinated. But this peace is made of a white metal alloy, which is rare by his hand. A similar bust made with a metal alloy was sold online previously and dates back to around 1887. This sculpture can be dated around the same period, based on the research on previous similar works.