Galerie de la Béraudière

Germaine Richier (Grans 1902-1959 Montpellier)
La Chauve-souris, 1946
Natural bronze
Fonderie L. Thinot, Paris
91 x 91 x 52 cm
Signed and numbered on the base: G. Richier, 4/6
Edition 4/6 out of 8 (1/6 - 6/6 + HC1, HC3)
Provenance: collection Henri Creuzevault, Paris; collection Colette Creuzevault, Paris (by descent); private collection, Europe
Literature: Jean-Louis Prat et Françoise Guiter, Germaine Richier, Rétrospective, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Fondation Maeght, 1996, n° 27, pp. 69-71, ill. (another cast), Jean-Louis Andral et Valérie Da Costa (dir.), Germaine Richier, La Magicienne, Antibes, Musée Picasso, 2019, pp.32-33, ill. (another cast)

After the Second World War, Germaine Richier experienced an exceptional burst of creative experimentation, both technically and aesthetically, and 'The Bat' (1946) is a remarkable example of this creativity.

Here Richier employs a new technique of dipping rope fibre in plaster, before draping it over the metal frame that forms the base of the animal's wings, creating this effect of lightness and dynamism. As one can imagine, this method proved to be a great challenge for the Thinot foundry (Paris), which made the mould for the original edition of eleven copies in 1946.

On the other hand, it was after the Second World War that Richier introduced her famous hybrid figures, which were to remain the focus of his experiments until her death in 1959. Here can be observed a figure whose body is that of a bat and whose face is that of a human being. As was often the case with Richier, this work was most probably made from the study of a naturalised real bat, as the artist always worked from models.

Finally, it is also interesting to note that the example 4/6 that is presented comes from the collection of the Parisian gallery owner Henri Creuzevault, a great supporter of sculpture and more particularly of the work of Germaine Richier.