Nobles Fardeaux (1910) 2/2; H: 220 cm (approx. 7'2"); W:
65 cm; D: 78 cm; bronze with
green patina; bequest of
Mme. Rhodia Dufet-Bourdelle; Susse Frères foundry,
Paris (inscribed on the base, at the back); inscription by
Bourdelle EA 2 on the left side; completed in 1910; cast
in November 1992.
Self-Portrait without Arms (1908) for Sale.  
This is a limited edition of 10 reproductions
cast  from the original created by Antoine
Bourdelle and given to his son, Pierre.   The
reproductions -- meticulously copied in
every detail (including the patina) from the
original -- are cast by the renowned foundry
that does the castings for the Metropolitan
Museum of Fine Arts in N.Y. City.   These
are moving fast -- 2 were recently sold.  
Price: $5,300 +S&H  
Noble Burdens (Nobles Fardeaux, 1910)  was inspired by the
sight of a pregnant Italian peasant woman in the street.  She was
carrying two large bundles and Bourdelle was impressed not
only by her movement -- like a majestic ship -- but by the nobility
of her carriage.  He transformed the bundles into a child and a
great basket of fruit so as to emphasize the parallel fruitfulness of
the mother's womb and mother earth.  The enhanced sense of
balance and the noble flowing movements are expressed
through the broad facets of the skirt and the peasant strength of
the massive arms, but the heroic qualities of the composition are
tempered by tenderness for the child and concern for the
mother-child relationship.  Bourdelle probably had in mind the
pregnancy of [his wife] Cléopatre (their daughter, Rhodia, was
born the following year).

pp. 64-65 (from:
Émile Antoine Bourdelle: An Illustrated
), Peter Cannon-Brookes, author.  Trefoil Books,
National Museum of Wales, London, 1983
The LÉDA Prints
Here are some
photos showing the
box, a few text
pages, and the
watercolors &
Émile-Antoine Bourdelle's watercolors and sketches with
Pierre Louys' story of

In 1893 Émile-Antoine Bourdelle did these watercolors and sketches to go with
Pierre Louys' re-telling of the legend of Zeus coming down in the form of a swan to
make love with the mortal, Leda.  In 1898 the sketches, watercolors, and Pierre
Louys' story, were printed in a limited edition.  In the early 1970's,  Émile-Antoine
Bourdelle's daughter, Rhodia Dufet-Bourdelle (also the Conservateur of the Mus
Bourdelle until her death in 2002), had a new limited edition made up (au pochoir --
"by hand") under her careful supervision and inspection.  Added to this edition
were some other Leda sketches and watercolors Émile-Antoine Bourdelle had done
at later periods (one is labeled July 1912).  Rhodia also added a new introductory
page in homage to her father.  This set that is being offered for sale was sent to her
niece, Bourdelle's only grand-daughter, with a loving dedication inscribed to her by
Rhodia on the inside page.

These watercolors are very contemporary and fresh today.  Paris, at the turn of the
previous century, may have been far more open-minded than I imagine -- these
beautifully fluid and sensual masterpieces raise the eyebrows of many Americans

This set is printed on the much finer V
élin d'Arches, rather than Japon -- as the
élin is closer in character to the original edition of 1898.   There is a hand-written
letter from Rhodia, and the Emery freight shipping receipts from when she sent
these -- copies of these are available if desired.

There are 13 pages of text, 40 watercolors, (some dark, intense; many medium soft
and flowing; and some very light and ethereal), and 8 sketches without colors.  As
the pages are not bound, each of the pictures can be mounted and framed.  The
photograph I show here gives some idea of the box and what the watercolors are
like.  The uneven edges of the paper have a wonderful handmade quality to them,
and the cream-colored heavy stock is beautiful.  Each page measures 15 7/8" x 11";
the boxed set measures 16 1/8" x 11 7/8" x 2 7/8".  Please note that the box has
some outward damage to it (watermark on the front, two of the corners have split
open), and the heavy stock paper inside that binds up the set has two corners that
have split open, but the prints and text are all in pristine condition.                        
Special ONE DAY ONLY Price:  
$1,250 + S&H & Insurance
Mme. Rhodia Dufet-
Bourdelle's dedication
to her niece, Antoine
Bourdelle's grand-
The Léda au pochoir
watercolors and
sketches are shown
below.  This is being
in toto.  This set
will not be broken up.
Bourdelle's Nobles Fardeaux is an Earth Mother for our strife-torn planet's times.   She strides forward powerfully,
reminiscent of the winged Nike of Samothrace (
La Victoire) in the Louvre.  She is a 'woman of power' -- her feet connected
to the earth -- who bears her sweet burdens with grace, power, love and nobility.  In her she carries sleeping life waiting to
emerge.  The beautiful fruit of her breast gives milk freely that supports the life on her.   Her upraised limb branching
upward, like that of a tree, holds securely the fruits of heaven.  This is a metaphoric Tree of Life and our Mother Earth.  As a
powerful Earth Goddess walking her path of Higher Purpose, she carries her responsibilities with gratitude for her
abundant gifts.   She is a messenger for us to connect back to what we have become disconnected from -- Mother Earth,
ourselves, our relationship/connection to all life, and our essence(s)/spirit/Higher Selves.
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