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Lot 85: Paul Maximilien Landowski (French, 1875-1961) "Monument to Wilbur Wright", a bronze figure cast by Barbedienne
Carpets & Rugs
September 8, 2009
London, United Kingdom
Description: The naked male figure with arms outstretched, atop a rocky outcrop, signed in the cast "Landowski" and "F. BARBEDIENNE" 81cm high
The forty-foot high Wilbur Wright monument at Place des Jacobins, Le Mans, the work of Landowski and the architect Paul Bigot, was dedicated on July 17, 1920. On the original, the figures of Wilbur and Orville Wright are carved in bas-relief. The work was commissioned by automobile factory owner Leon Bollee, at whose premises Wilbur Wright reassembled his aeroplane following an experimental flight over French soil.
Paul Maximilien Landowski (June 4, 1875 – March 27, 1961) was a French monumental sculptor of Polish ancestry. A graduate of the French national academy, he won the Prix de Rome in 1900 with his statue of David, and in his 55-year career produced over thirty five monuments in the city of Paris and twelve more in the surrounding area.
The single best-known work associated with Landowski is the 1931 Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, a collaboration with civil engineer Heitor da Silva Costa; some sources indicate Landowski designed Christ's head and hands. From 1933 through 1937 he was Director of the French Academy in Rome.
A museum dedicated to Landowski's work is in the Boulogne-Billancourt suburb of Paris, with over 100 works on display.