Le Semeur or The Sower (c. 1900) by Félix-Alexandre Desruelles
This bronze bas-relief is a reduced version of the war memorial in honor of Jean-Jaurès, which commissioned by the town of Dole in Desruelles. Desruelles decided to represent him as a sower, echoing the famous bronze medal of Roty dating from 1887 when the legendary Marianne, wearing a Phrygian cap generously sowed his republican ideas to the four winds, and which was subsequently reproduced on a number Of French coins and stamps. Jean-Jaurès, a convinced pacifist who died in 1914 for ardently opposing the outbreak of the Great War, is here depicted allegorically casting ashore his innumerable ideas which may one day sprout and flourish. The bronze work is affixed to a marble base, with a brass plaque enscribed: "To Mr Eugene Dufour-Coisne, in recognition of forty years of professional activity the staff, management, associates of the mills Paul and Eugene Dufour, June 1946." Signed upper left, "F. Desruelles".
Félix-Alexandre Desruelles (1865–1943) was a French sculptor who was recognized for his portrait sculpture and his great monuments. At a young age, he entered the Academy of his town of Valenciennes to begin his art education. Desruelles pursued his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1882, where he was a pupil of Falguière, Rude, Carpeaux and Houdon. His perseverance and talent earned him many distinctions: he received the second Grand Prix of Rome in 1891, the Prix des Salons in 1897 and three years later the gold medal of the Universal Exhibition of 1900 for his work, Le Semeur. He was appointed professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and was also elected a member of the Académie des Beaux Arts.
29 ½ x 18 ½ x 7 in.