An early Art Deco Bronze Nude Sculpture of a Dancer by Affortunato Gory. This is one of the most spectacular pieces we have been able to offer. The darkly gilded patina is smooth and flawless, highlighting all the delicate features of the subject. Note her lovely face, perfectly rendered hands and feet (the details many sculptors do not execute so deftly). Her elaborate head dress has great texture, and the alabaster ball she holds aloft can also be easily removed for transport. Her graceful pose employs the principle of contrapposto in which the arrangement of the figure contrasts the lines of arms and shoulders and the balance of hips and legs. The substantial base is original to the piece and crafted in a type of heavily veined and exquisitely colored marble that really cannot be purchased today. A discreet but well defined signature, ” A.Gory” is etched into the sole of her foot.
There is not an exact date of Gory’s birth in Italy that is recorded but he was known to have actively worked in sculpture between 1895 in Florence, Italy until his death in 1925 in Paris. He began by studying under Augusto Rivalta at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Firenze and continued his work and study with Victorien-Antoine Bastet in France. He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Francais.
Gory is noted for employing the method of chryselephantine which blends faces and hands carved of marble, ivory or alabaster with a body and any “fabric” or draping cast in bronze. It is actually an ancient technique used by the Greeks beginning in the century 800 BC in the creation of gold and ivory idols . The concept was reintroduced and made popular by Gory and other sculptors such as Demetre Chiparus in the early 20th Century for a variety of Art Nouveau and Art Deco statues. The fact that Affortunato Gory died in 1925 and did the majority of his iconic work in the teens and very early 1920s underscores his real importance within the Art Deco movement.
While many sculptors rode the wave of style created and promoted through the Exposition des Arts Decoratif of 1925, and then did their most famous examples in the late 20s and through the 1930s, Gory already had captured -and certainly influenced- even the famous artists like LeVerrier, Bouraine, Le Faguays, Collinet and others.
Much like his contemporary, Chiparus, Gory began in the 1890s with realistic busts and statues, and many images of children but he developed a dynamic style, featuring Oriental dancers, nudes and more exotic figures that embodied the spirit of Art Nouveau and ultimately, Art Deco.