JULES MOIGNIEZ (Senlis 1835 – Saint-Martin-du-Tertre 1894)
A Bassett Hound
inscribed J. Moigniez
bronze with brown patina, cast during the artist’s lifetime
height 18 ½ inches (47 cm.), width 29 ⅛ inches (74 cm.)
James Graham & Sons, Inc., New York, 1990s, from whom acquired by
Private Collection, New York, until the present time
Jules Moigniez spent almost his entire career working in Paris. He studied under the sculptor Paul Comolera, and exhibited for the first time at the Exposition Universelle in 1855. Starting in 1859, he became a regular contributor to the Salon, until his retirement in 1892. His subjects range from birds, rams, horses, hares, lions, bulls, deer, goats, hunting-themed figurative groups, to dogs.
Moigniez’s bronzes are notable for their crispness of detail and overall excellence of the founding and finishing. The casting was done by his father, who opened a foundry for this purpose in 1857. Originally a metal gilder, his father experimented with a wide variety of patinations, including the many shades of golden bronze that were so successful, particular to Moigniez’s works, and so beautifully highlighted in this bronze.
The cast of A Basset Hound must have proven to be very popular as it was executed in three sizes, of which this is one of the largest examples. Moigniez sculpted numerous breeds, including Dachshunds, Pointers, Setters, Spaniels, Lurchers and Retrievers. What sets A Basset Hound apart from the rest of the pack is the highly sympathetic rendering of the dog’s expression. Set on a ground of leaves and rock, one gets the impression of looking down upon a faithful companion while in the midst of a walk. It is unknown if this was one of Moigniez’s own dogs, but the feelings it stirs are truly captivating.