Auguste Moreau - Capturing Life’s Beauty in Bronze

Born in Dijon in 1834, Auguste Moreau was a talented sculptor and the member of the artistic Moreau family. His father, Jean-Baptiste, was a sculptor, painter and draughtsman. Auguste's brothers Mathurin and Hyppolite-François also followed in their father’s footsteps. Mathurin specialised in large statues, with his majestic L’Océanie decorating the courtyard of Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Auguste was trained by his father from a very young age. As most members of the Moreau family, he attended ‘École de Beaux-Arts’ in Paris. Founded in 1797 as ‘École spéciale de peinture, de sculpture et d’architecture“ in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, it was officially acknowledged by the French King Louis XVIII in 1819. The students received excellent art education in small groups of 10 to 20, with esteemed lecturers passing on the knowledge and nurturing their skills. Auguste attended the school at the same time as many renowned French artists, such as the painter Henri Matisse and the sculptor Georges Gimel.

Auguste continued artistic training and developed his own unique style of filigree figures, capturing dreamlike beauty, vitality and the delightful interplay of people, magical creatures, animals and nature.

His first works were exhibited in 1861, and Moreau became a well-known sculptor at the young age of 27. It was an exciting and promising time for artists in Paris, as the city hosted a succession of exhibitions and world fairs that offered the opportunity to display French art to prominent international visitors. The first World’s Fair in France was held in 1855, with ‘Palais des Beaux-Arts’ built specially to showcase contemporary art and its newest trends. Following the fairs of 1867 and 1878, Paris hosted the spectacular World’s Fair of 1889, with Eiffel Tower erected to commemorate its opening.

Auguste Moreau evolved to become a celebrated Art Nouveau sculptor, incorporating its delicate floral motifs and curved lines while bringing detailed naturalism and lifelike quality to his graceful filigree figures and busts. The talented artist died in 1917, leaving an extensive body of bronze sculptures found in museums around the world.

View our collection of Auguste Moreau’s delightful bronzes online or marvel at their detailed beauty in person at our antiques warehouse in Brighton.