This sculpture is one of Germaine Richier’s last works, and in many ways it represents a culmination of all the artist’s research. Structured over empty space, like wire sculptures, it shows a fight between two figures like Les Escrimeuses (The Fencers), a sculpture by the artist from 1943. The obese, hollow body recalls that of Nardone, Rodin’s model, who modelled for Richier on many occasions. The thin figure is reminiscent of the praying mantis from her series of hybrid creatures. We also find the massive, oversized foot that anchors the sculpture to the ground, like in the Loretto from her early period.
Germaine Richier (1902-1959)
Germaine Richier was a sculptor, drawer and engraver. She trained with Antoine Bourdelle in Paris between 1925 and 1929, at the same time as Alberto Giacometti, having first studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Montpellier. For many years, she engaged in classical sculpture, carving faces with precise features, until 1939, when her work became free of the constraints of the model, to take on an unusual and unique figuration that pushed the boundaries of the fantastic. Her insect-men populated a prehistoric world or universe, whose unwritten history blossomed in the woods around her atelier.