We are honored to have a collector who is in possession of a Demetre Chiparus Oriental “Les Girls” bronze. This is an original D.H. Chiparus Les Girls bronze sculpture, the last one “Les Girls” jewel size sold for $500,000 at Sothebys.
Chiparus’ famous “Les Girls” sculpture was edited in three different variations, including a single figure, a three-figure group, and a rare and ambitious five-figure group. The dancer’s intricately rendered costumes also exhibit a highly unusual turquoise patina—a color previously unknown within the “Les Girls” series.
Only four examples of the larger five-figure model are presently known, each displaying different patina colors in brilliant green or dark brown cat suits, as well as one unusual multi-colored variant.
The Ballet Russes spectacles is what inspired Chiparus the decade before. Chiparus’
“Les Girls” most likely draws from both of these acts. Like Léon Bakst’s ballerinas Chiparus’ figures are clothed in their own nudity. Their costumes disclose Paris’ new-found fascination with the body and its expressing moving form.
In 1909 the Ballets Russes had descended on the city of Paris France from St. Petersburg with a talented troupe of dancers, musicians, decorators and costumes. For the next twenty years they staged outlandish performances the likes of which had never been seen.
Demeter Chiparus moved to Paris in 1912. After attending the famed Ecole des Beaux Arts, he found himself mirroring in sculptures what was happening on stage. Using bronze as his medium he combined it with bone for the flesh tones and used selected marbles and onyxes to anchor his dancers.