Today we want to talk about a creator whose work is halfway between industrial production and the most artistic. And we are not talking about any current creator, but about one from the 19th century. We refer to the sculptor and metal founder Emile Antoine Durenne. A French character born in 1822 and died in 1895, whose works can be traced to various places in Europe and America, and even today there are some work of his in the land of Guinea, in Africa.
The truth is that he made many figures, fountains and sculptural groups that today can be seen in large cities of France, Spain, Canada, United States, Brazil or Russia, between other places. And not only in cities, but also in more modest towns such as the tiny pre-Pyrenean village of Loporzano, in the Spanish province of Huesca. There is this sculpture cast in iron that was made to decorate a fountain that commemorated the bringing of the waters from the most mountainous area to the capital of Huesca.
And the fact is that the work of Durenne was not only creative and sculptural. It is true that he began training as a sculptor at the School of Arts and Crafts. But after that he alternated his more personal work such as the improvement of metal casting processes to materialize the works and designs made by others.artists.
For this he did not hesitate to rescue an old foundry factory, after which he did not lack work, and had really important commissions for various international fairs and exhibitions throughout much of the nineteenth century. That is why his work, always signed as a foundryman, can be seen in numerous places on the planet. In other words, he was a very interesting character for the development of sculpture and monuments of the time. In addition to the fact that among the most outstanding facts of his biography stands out the fact of being one of the founding members of theNational School of Decorative Arts in France.
But above all his great achievement was making iron a perfect material for monumental art. In his most grandiose sources he uses iron as an artistic material. And he manages to provide it with a quality and textures that until then had only been achieved with bronze, obviously much more expensive, being a precious metal. However, iron was more abundant and cheaper, so larger creations and more ambitious iconographic programs could be made.
However, iron also ended up being used in less bombastic projects, as is the case of the Loporzano Cupid, where the small figures based on classical mythology have a quality and a very attractive tactile texture.