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    Mario J. Korbel (American, 1882-1954)
    Andante (Dancing Girls), 1926
    Bronze with brown patina
    42 inches (106.7 cm) high
    Inscribed on base: No 3 / Mario Korbel / 19©26 / Roman Bronze Works N-Y-

    Emil Winter, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
    Marguerite Scott, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by descent from the above, circa 1942;
    Jean McDougall Scott, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by descent from the above;
    Estate of the above;
    By descent to the present owner.

    Property from the Estate of Jean McDougall Scott, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Emil Winter, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
    Marguerite Scott, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by descent from the above, circa 1942;
    Jean McDougall Scott, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by descent from the above;
    Estate of the above;
    By descent to the present owner.

    A.T. Gardner, American Sculpture: a Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1965, p. 145, no. 28.119, another example illustrated;
    J.M. Marter, American Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Vol. 2, A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born Between 1865 and 1885, New York, 2001, pp. 658-59, cat. 301, another example illustrated.

    Mario Josef Korbel was born in 1882 in Oslik, Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic). At the age of eighteen, the young talent moved to New York and then to Chicago, where he took a position modeling ornamental interior moldings. In 1905 he returned to Europe to study, first in Berlin and then at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he trained for three years. Korbel attended the Académie Julian in Paris, exhibiting his work at the Salon in 1909.

    After returning to the U.S., Korbel was asked to design a monument to commemorate a Bohemian patriot in the city of Racine, Wisconsin. Other public and private commissions followed in Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, and other Western cities. In his early work, Korbel embraced classical artistic traditions, drawing on a strong sense of order and proportion as well as a sensitivity to the decorative quality of line. This classical, idealized style earned him great commercial success.

    Korbel conceived Andante (also titled Dancing Girls) in 1917, initially casting an edition of seven, each 29-1/2 inches high. The composition was one of a series of dancing figures by the artist, its title referring to the slow, graceful cadence of the dancers' rhythmic movement. The model for this bronze, a woman named Hilda Beyer, became Korbel's love interest and modeled for many of his works. They were later married, but divorced in 1924.

    In 1926, Korbel enlarged Andante to a scale of 43 inches high (the size of the present work) and made three known casts in this size. Korbel considered this grand-scale model more successful than his previous, smaller composition, and at his suggestion, exchanged the original bronze in the Metropolitan Museum's collection with the larger version (the second in the edition).

    In this elegant work, the two dancers stand on tiptoe facing one another and touching with the fingers of their right hands. While the drapery falling in crisp vertical folds from the nudes' left arms suggests the artist's affinity for early classical Greek sculpture, the supple surface and idealized bodies of the two women also resemble the pared-down modernist nudes of French sculptor Aristide Maillol. Andante was included in Korbel's one-man exhibition at the Gorham Galleries on Fifth Avenue in 1917, and one of the casts was purchased by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Heritage is thrilled to be offering the present work, Korbel's third and previously unknown cast of this important, large-scale bronze. The work hails from the descendants of the Pittsburgh Industrialist Emile Winter, who was one of the founders of the Pittsburgh Steel Company. Winter's famed collection, sold by Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc. after his death in 1942, included casts of Rodin's The Kiss and Eternal Spring, Paul Manship's Diana and a Hound, paintings by Barbizon artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Henri Fantin-Latour, as well as important European tapestries, furnishings and silver.

    Condition Report*: Sculpture measures 42 x 10 x 46.75 inches; Rubbing in areas of high relief; scattered small faint hairline abrasions to patina most notably to base of sculpture.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2020
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,139

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