Russian Bronze Group of Taking the Ducks to Market
Cast by Woerffel after the model by Leonid Posen, circa 1880
Cast as a man leading an ox-drawn cart loaded with caged ducks behind a seated woman, on an oblong naturalistic base, signed and struck with Finance Ministry stamp and foundry mark. Length 31 1/8 inches (79 cm.).
Acquired by the grandfather of present owner, early 20th century.
Then by descent.
Leonid Vladimirovich Posen (1849-1921) studied law and maintained a long career in the Russian judicial system. Self-taught in drawing and sculpture, he began by copying the sculptural works of both Evgeny Lanceray and Nikolai Lieberich. Where the two established artists favored horses and hunting, depicting both with a dramatic and heroic flair, Posen chose more modest depictions of Russian peasant life. Posen continued his pursuit of the arts as a dedicated amateur, however his talent did not go unnoticed by his more renowned peers. He was accepted into the Peredvizhniki movement, and he took part in almost all of their exhibitions. Posen's work eventually was recognized by the Russian Academy of Arts, which invited him to become a member, even though he at first declined because he had no formal artistic education.
Today Posen's work is less well-known than that of Lanceray or Lieberich, and works of his appear infrequently on the market. He is perhaps best remembered for his monuments to literary figures Gogol and Ivan Kotlyarevsky in Poltava, Ukraine. However, Posen's magnificent technical execution and his humane observation of scenes from Russian daily life distinguish his works as among the best of Russian sculpture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Another cast of Taking the Ducks to Market was sold Sotheby's, London, June 6, 2017, lot 441.
C Property from a New Orleans Private Collection
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