Study for the Witch
Bronze with a light brown patina.
H. 29 cm
of which grey veined marble base H. 5 cm
WORK IN RAPPORT : Victor Ségoffin, Femme nue accroupie (sorcière), Paris, musée Carnavalet, inv. no. S2004.
Born in Toulouse, Ségoffin entered the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1888. He attended the workshops of Cavelier and Barrias. In 1889 he took part in the Prix de Rome competition. Second Grand Prix in 1895, he finally obtained the Grand Prix de Rome in 1897.
Ségoffin then embarked on a singular path. He always combines a particular attention paid to the construction and composition of his works with a more lively and striking treatment of the material inherited from Rodin. Far from the academism and softness of idealized female bodies, this witch presents us with a face that is both fierce and sad, in the manner of Rodin's Bellone. From the modernity engaged by the master of Meudon, Ségoffin also seems to retain a particular expression of eroticism which is now dark and tortured, of a violent and animal sensuality far from the milky and delicate flesh inherited from the beautiful neoclassical ideal.
This bronze also expresses the artist's interest in the fragmentary figure. Ségoffin thus makes the choice to cut his bust in a hazardous manner and to dislocate the hand from the arm opening the form on the space. The eye then reconstructs by itself this invisible yet perceptible form. Emptiness, as much as fullness, then becomes a key element in the construction of the work. Thus, beyond the Rodinian inspiration of assemblage, whose influence of the Head of Jean de Fiennes with left hand is evident here, Ségoffin opens up even more to the experiences of the twentieth century by experiencing the "active void" as a force uniting two forms.