A bronze sculpture depicting a Phoenician dancing girl on a marble base after Demétre Haralamb Chiparus (16 September 1886 – 22 January 1947), France.
Demétre (Haralamb) Chiparus (16 September 1886 – 22 January 1947) was born in Romania and known because of his extended series of sculptures during the Art Deco period. He has since been classified as one of the most important sculptors of his time and he inspired a lot of other artists through his work.
Demétre Chiparus was the son of Haralamb and Saveta Chipăruș. In 1909 he went to Italy, where he attended the classes of Italian sculptor Raffaello Romanelli. His very first sculptures were exhibited at the Salon of 1914 in Paris after he travelled to that city in 1912. He attended the École des Beaux Arts in Paris and made most of his works between 1914 and 1935. Demétre Chiparus died in 1947 due to a stroke and was buried in Bagneux Cemetery, Paris.
Bronze sculptures are often called simply a ‘bronze’, just because this metal is used most for sculptures. The choice for bronze arises from the desirable and advantageous assets of expanding a bit before it sets. In such this way, the finest details of a mould will be filled with bronze to create the best sculptures. Even more advantage is the property of shrinking when it cools, making it easier to separate from the detailed mould. A number of distinct casting processes are used for making bronzes. Lost-wax casting, sand casting and centrifugal casting are the most used casting methods.
Nowadays, bronze is still a precious metal and could easily be stolen to be melted down. During the first and second world war, a lot of sculptures were melted down to make weapons or ammunition. Luckily a generous number of sculptures were preserved in museums and in private collections. Possibly the first bronze ever made (and preserved) dates back from 2300-1750 BCE and it is held by the national museum in New Delhi.
Many different bronze alloys exist. The most common alloy for bronze is 88% copper and 12% tin. Classic and statuary bronze consists mostly of 90% copper and 10 % tin. The term bronze is tending to be regarded in museums and replaced in descriptions as ‘a copper alloy’, mostly seen for older objects.
The word after is often used in museums, art galleries and antique stores. The meaning is very simple, it is a copy of that specific artist’s work where the word ‘after’ is placed before or after the artist’s name. It is very important not to forget that the word ‘after’ has nothing to do with ‘faking’ the artist’s work.
An (unknown) artist can paint a copy of a famous work which is exhibited in a museum. This copy if not a fake, because the (unknown) artist is not claiming to be the original artist of the work. When the (unknown) artist wants to sell his own copy, the word ‘after’ is placed before or after the original artist’s work. Now, the work is not a fake, but a nicely made copy.
Using the word ‘after’ for copies has already been done for centuries. But there are different levels of ‘afters’. An ‘after’ can already be an ‘after’ when an (unknown) artist is copying in 2020 the work ‘The starry night’ by Van Gogh. The (unknown) artist is far removed from the original artist by time and association. A very high level of an ‘after’ is when the original artist is involved or approves the ‘after’. Even an original signature by the original artist can be placed on the ‘after’.
Even tough an ‘after’ is a copy, the value and quality can still be very high and ‘afters’ will stay highly collectible.