Henri Dropsy (21 January 1885- 2 November 1969)
"La Laitière" or "La Laitière Normande", 1913
Patinated copper relief plaquette
Signed "HENRI DROPSY" Lower left (vertically)
With a triangle touchmark and "CUIVRE" to the bottom edge
Published by Victor S. Canale (1883–1958)
89 x 51mm
A woman, wearing a long dress, bonnet and clogs, stands beside a table looking down as she watches herself pouring milk from a lipped dairy bowl into a jug. Softly modelled, extremely fine and attractively patinated.
Henri Dropsy (1885-1969) was one of the most influential French medallists of the first half of the twentieth century. He trained a generation of French medallists through his directorship of the medal-engraving studio at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1930 until his retirement in 1955.
Henri Dropsy was the son of the medalist Jean-Baptiste Émile Dropsy (1848-1923) from whom he received his first tutelage. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under Gabriel-Jules Thomas (1824 –1905), Jean-Antoine Injalbert (1845–1933), Frédéric-Charles Victor de Vernon (1858-1912) and Henri-Auguste Jules Patey (1855-1930). From 1907 he exhibited at the Salon of the Société des Artistes Français. In 1908 he was awarded the second place in the Prix de Rome for medal engraving; a Third Class medal at the Salon in 1912; a silver medal in 1914 and a gold medal in 1921. He received a travel scolarship in 1922 and was the recipient of a Medal of Honour in 1929. From 1930 he was professor of medal engraving at the École des Beaux-Arts (Professeur de gravure en médailles). He was made a Officier of the Légion d'Honneur and an Officier in l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres. He served as President of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1952.
For another cast of this plaque see Musee D'Orsay No. 172667 (Inventory "RF MO MEDOR 2014 1 1")
See No. 32 in Robert Lapassade & Pierre Pradel, "Henri Dropsy: Cinquante Ans de Médaille", Monnaie de Paris, janvier-février 1964.
Leonard Forrer, "Biographical Dictionary of Medallists", Volume VII, 234 [BDM, VII, 234], Spink & Son, London, 1923
p. 611, Victor Arwas, "Art Nouveau: The French Aesthetic", Papadakis, London, 2002
p. 323-326 Nicolas Maier, "French medallic art 1870-1940", Nicolas Maier, Paris, 2010
Jean Babelon, "Henri Dropsy", Paris, 1938.
R. Corbin, "Notice sur la vie et les travaux d'Henri Dropsy", p.15, n° 39, Publications de l’Institut de France, Paris, 1970
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