L'Attaque, A Bronze Fountain by Edouard Sandoz
Originally Conceived in 1937
By Edouard Marcel Sandoz (1881 - 1971) b. Basel, Switzerland
The snails with the Godard Foundry mark 'E.GODARD CIRE PERDUE' . The frog is unmarked
In 1937 Edouard Marcel Sandoz created L'Attaque' a stylish and daring fountain for the Pavilion Nestlé (also known as the 'Pavilion de tous les bébés du monde') in collaboration with the architect Jean Tschumi for the 1937 Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques, Paris. It was later described in 'Sensations d'Art' , "L'Attaque assembles three large frogs in contemplation before three equally large snails, each issuing jets of water from their horns."
It is known that Sandoz was commissioned to execute at least two variations on this composition: the first example with one large frog and four smaller snails, without foundry marks, was installed in the gardens of l'Hotel Beau-Rivage in Lausanne between 1938 and 1945 where it remains to this day.
A second example which is recorded in the catalogue raisonné of the artist by Marcilhac shows one large frog and five snails and is similar, but for the additional snail, to the present model.
There is evidence of a third commission (letters 26 November and 1 December 1968 in the records of the Fondation Edouard & Maurice Sandoz) which refers to the casting of four snails by Godard which are patinated dark green. The Foundation believe that these are almost certainly the present examples to which have been added one of the three frogs which were cast for the Paris Exposition of 1937.
Height 84 cm (33.25 in) Width 178 cm (70.25 in) Depth 100 cm (39.5 in)
Awards and Memberships:
Commander of the Order of the Legion d'Honneur
Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters
Member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France
Founder of the French Society of Wildlife 1933
Chair of the Taylor Foundation for 20 years
Acquired directly from the artist by a private collector in Pully near Lausanne which is where the Atelier was situated.
Edouard Marcel Sandoz sculpteur figuriste et animalier 1881-1971 by F. Marcilhac Paris 1993
Thanks to the Fondation Edouard & Maurice Sandoz for their assistance in researching this sculpture.
It is known that amongst the many models of animals which this well known artist sculpted prior to the Paris exhibition of 1937, were models of both frogs and snails. It is likely that he took some of these designs and played around with them to create L'Attaque for the centrepiece of the Pavilion. The alteration in the size of the snails and the different grouping for the fountain in Lausanne and also for the third example mentioned in the catalogue raisonné is evidence of the artist's flexibility and playfulness and shows us that he intended the arrangement to be versatile.
The current positioning of Sandoz's sculptures is very close to the Beau Rivage example which he must have found satisfying; he lived close to the hotel where he frequently lunched and so had at least 25 years in which to adapt the arrangement. Sandoz frequently exhibited his larger works in the grounds of the hotel, where many remain, as his house and atelier were private.
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