A 19th Century Bronze Sculpture of Cupid by Jules-Félix Coutan
19th Century Bronze Statue by Renowned Sculptor Jules-Félix Coutan |Measures 27.5″ ht with marble plinth | Inscribed on the back of the Bronze Base “J. Coutan P.”
19th Century Bronze Statue of Cupid by Renowned French Sculptor Jules-Félix Coutan |Overall measures 27.5″ ht with marble plinth; Bronze only measures 25.25″ | Inscribed on the back of the Bronze Base “J. Coutan P.”
Jules-Félix Coutan (22 September 1848 – 23 February 1939) was a French sculptor and educator. As a student at the École des Beaux-Arts, Coutan was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1872; after his return to Paris he executed the fountain group France Bearing the Torch of Civilization for the Exposition Universelle (1889), one of the two prominent sculptural commissions for the Exposition grounds. Later he taught at the École des Beaux-Arts from 1900, where he expressed his disdain for the researches of Rodin— fumiste— and the Impressionist sculptors who followed him. He was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1905.
Coutan is best known in the United States for the sculptural group above the entrance to Grand Central Terminal in New York City. For Grand Central Terminal, Coutan was contracted to provide a quarter-size scale plaster model of the three-figure allegorical Transportation group, which he developed from 1911 through 1914. (Coutan never visited the U.S.) The carving was performed by the William Bradley & Son of Long Island City.
Smaller bronzes, some stamped with his name or the founders Thiebaut Frères, represented a constant source of income for Coutan and a genre typical of his output.
Among Coutan’s students were Hippolyte Lefèbvre, Raymond Delamarre, and the Argentine sculptor Rogelio Yrurtia.
- fountain group France Bearing the Torch of Civilization for the Exposition Universelle (1889)
- caryatids for the Opéra-Comique, Paris, 1899
- reliefs Science and Labor for the Pont de Passy (now the Pont de Bir-Hakeim), Paris
- bas-reliefs for the polychrome terra-cotta facade in the Square Félix-Desruelles, with architect Charles Risler, for Sèvres Porcelain, circa 1900
- figure of La France de la Renaissance for the Pont Alexandre III, circa 1900
- high relief, The Eagle Hunters for the facade of the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle in Paris; also the plaster model at the Musée d’Orsay (1893–1900); bronze cast (1900), installed
- Glory of Commerce group for Grand Central Terminal, NYC, circa 1911
- the bust of Jean-Charles Alphand at the Père Lachaise Cemetery
- Franco-Prussian War Memorial, Poitiers
- angel figures for the José C. Paz tomb, La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Recent Auctions of Coutan’s Cupid:
- $3,091 (without premium) Van Ham Kunstauktionen, Cologne,Germany, 17 May 2013
- $4,220 Dorotheum, Vienna, Austria, 13 May 2013
- $2,536 (without premium) Horta, Brussels, Belgium, 16 Jan 2012
- $9,600 Sotheby’s, New York NY,United States, 20 Apr 2007
- $18,780 Sotheby’s, London, United Kingdom, 12 Jun 2006
- $15,390 Metz Noblat de-Thomas (S.V.V.), Metz, France, 05 Jun 2005
- $4,750 (without premium) Bonhams & Butterfields, San Francisco CA, United States, 15 Mar 2004
- $13,250 Sotheby’s, Paris, France, 02 Oct 2003
- $5,890 (without premium) Amberes, 22 April 2002