BOURDELLE, Antoine (1861-1929). French sculptor and painter.
Autograph Letter Signed to the composer Vincent D'Indy ('cher Maître'), 2 pages large 4to (some splitting at the folds), no place, no date [probably 1926].
Explaining apologetically that ill-health (complications following a bout of bronchitis) that winter has delayed the work on the bust of d'Indy, though he did manage to complete the plaster model for the reliefs on the base of the Mickiewicz monument; however, thanks to a 'miracle-working' doctor he is now restored to health and he hopes that their sittings can resume on his return to Paris in September, adding that he admires d'Indy's work enormously.
Catherine Barjansky gives an amusing apercu of these sittings in her book Portraits with Backgrounds (1947): 'I once saw the composer Vincent d'Indy sitting for Antoine Bourdelle in the great sculptor's studio in Paris. Bourdelle, who was seeking to reproduce d'Indy's personality, talked incessantly, trying to get different expressions on his face; while d'Indy, thinking that Bourdelle talked too much while he worked, and annoyed at being so continually stared at, looked irritable and displeased. The resulting portrait was a finished work of art, but the spark of life Bourdelle always sought was absent.'
Bourdelle's incessant chatter can perhaps be imagined from the somewhat breathless nature of this letter, which is laid out on the page almost like poetry. The bronze bust of d'Indy dates from 1927; the Mickiewicz monument occupied Bourdelle from 1909 onwards, not being inaugurated until 1929.
The image is of the second side.