In 1912 Edouard Marcel Sandoz hand-carves an owl, which, like Francois Pompon’s Polar Bear, will become his iconic signature piece. The cubist work is very modern for its day and is considered to be one of the first examples of Braque and Picasso’s invention applied to animal sculpture.
Like the Owl, Sandoz’s other favorite subject, the Seated Cat evokes cubist form and expresses a sense of purity and balance. This is further accentuated by the choice of black Belgian marble - when finely polished it gives a sense of opulence to the sculpture. The gracious posture of the feline is reminiscent of Egyptian ritual statuary of Middle Kingdom. The piece was a tremendous success; it was cast in bronze by the Valsuani foundry from 1922 onward.
The artist conceived this sculpture (like the Owl) in 1912. A dated small plaster version of the Seated Cat, already decisively modern and pure in form, is conserved in Sandoz family archives. As World War I descended upon Europe, it became increasingly difficult to produce artwork and Sandoz could finally hand-carved The Seated Cat only around 1920-21.
This work is a very rare example to Eduard Marcel Sandoz’s sculpture available to the market today.
Private collection, France
Private Collection, USA
Société des Beaux Arts, Paris 1923, ref. 1877
La Renaissance de l’art français, July 1924, p.399
Marcilhac, Félix, Le Catalogue raisonné d’ Edouard Marcel Sandoz, Editions de l’amateur, 1993, cat. n° 386, p.328 and p.140