Edward Wittig (1879 – 1941)

Edward Wittig. Bust of a woman

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Lot 58. Edward WITTIG (Varsovie 1879 – 1941). Bust of a woman. Circa 1906. Height : 61 cm. Width : 58 cm. Depth : 31 cm. Signed on the base on the left “E. Wittig”.
Edward Wittig was born in Warsaw in 1877. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with J. Tautenheim from 1897 to 1900. He then moved to Paris and entered the École des Beaux-Arts under the direction of Madeleine Jouvray, a former student of Auguste Rodin.
In 1909, he returned to Poland and settled in a residence belonging to friends and produced numerous sculpted portraits and medals.

Edward Wittig is one of the greatest representatives of monumental sculpture in the inter-war period. The realization of monuments for the public space guarantees him a prestigious recognition. The sculpture of Eve, dated 1911, is one of his first commissions, which was installed both in the Ujazdowski Park in Warsaw and in the Trocadero Gardens in Paris. Guillaume Apollinaire wrote a remark about this work: “Wittig’s Eve is a perfect example of the new tendencies of modern sculpture, which do not bar either style or life”. In 1932, Wittig created the monument to the aviator among other famous monuments in Poland.
Edward Wittig actively participated in the artistic and cultural life of his time. From 1914 to 1920, he was a professor at the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw and at the University of Technology in the same city. In 1921, he was appointed general curator of the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts at the Grand Palais. He participated in the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris from 1903 to 1914 as well as the Salon d’Automne in 1906. His sculptures were also presented at the Venice Biennale in 1920 and 1934. The sculptor’s works are exhibited in numerous galleries and museums in Poland (Zacheta Gallery in Warsaw and the Society of Friends of Fine Arts in Krakow), in France (Toulouse Museum) and in the Netherlands (Palace of Justice in The Hague). The National Museum in Warsaw has several works by the sculptor in its collections, as does the Musée de Grenoble in France.
Edward Wittig was one of the most prestigious portraitists of his time, representing the French and Polish nobility of his time; he notably created the bust of Countess Xavier Branicka in 1914. His works are seen as a balance between academic tradition and innovative artistic trends.

This marble bust shows similarities with some of Auguste Rodin’s sculpted portraits. The smooth face, the pure line contrasts with the rougher base that keeps visible the traces of the scissors. This sculpted portrait was probably commissioned by a wealthy heiress or aristocratic figure and is a very rare example of the artist’s sculptural work.

Estimate 20,000 – 25,000 euro. Millon. 11/29/22. Sold 25,000 euro


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