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    An American Bronze Bust: Portrait Head of a Woman

    John J. Boyle (American 1851-1917)
    Late 19th century
    Marks: Signed on shoulder John J. Boyle, Bureau Brothers foundry mark
    25-1/2 inches (64.8 cm) high

    John Boyle was descended from a family of sculptors from Ireland. After studying under the master artist Thomas Eakins, he traveled to Paris in 1877 and enrolled at the famous Ecole de Beaux Arts taking on portrait commissions. Upon his return to the United States in 1902 he opened a studio at Philadelphia and then moved on to New York where his career flourished.

    This Portrait Head of a Woman is one of the most famous sculptures he would produce. Cast at the Bureau Brothers shop at Philadelphia and signed 'John J. Boyle' on the left shoulder, the nude portrait bust is of a petite, happy woman with a graceful neck, and short, wavy hair. Looking slightly up and to her right, Boyle has placed his work on a short Ionic column thus incorporating an ancient look and form with the modern expression of the subject. The patina is shiny at the cheeks and waves of the hair, a rich, dark brown elsewhere.

    Before his death in 1917 Boyle would produce enormously popular work - the statue of Benjamin Franklin at Philadelphia, first exhibited at the 1904 Lewis and Clark Exposition. It may be his most famous, while other noted examples can be found at the Library of Congress and in Lincoln Park at Chicago.

    R.C. Eldred, East Dennis, Mass. (1981)

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *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
    October, 2007
    13th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 717

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