This monumental cast iron statue is an important work by Camille Gaté (1856 - 1900), signed "C. Gaté". It is a rare work, of the quality that is suitable for public monuments. Impressive size, it represents two Grands Bleus de Gascogne, hunting dogs since Henri IV. Emile Gaté, an artist of the late 19th century, was indeed passionate about the medieval past of his city, Nogent-le-Rotrou.
Born into a family of tanners, Gaté was not destined for art, but his natural skill in sculpture propelled him since his earliest works to the forefront of the national scene. "Chiens de Relais" truly launch his career, with these two bloodhounds admirably well described, both in their anatomy and their lively and serene character.
The model was first executed in plaster in 1885 for the Salon des Artistes Français, then, with the success of the work, it was cast in bronze for the same Salon the following year. After other successes of the artist, it is still this one that was presented at the World's Fair of 1889 in Paris, the same one which saw the elevation of the Eiffel Tower, where it was awarded a bronze medal. At this World's Fair, "Chiens de Relais" was exhibited in cast iron, as the example we present here, and strongly marked the spirits.
Present throughout the world, this sculpture, sometimes marked by the Val d'Osne Foundry, decorates public spaces from Nogent-le-Rotrou where it adorns the garden of the Chateau Saint-Jean and the Place de la République, to Mar del Plata in Argentina.
After 1885. Cast iron. Signed "C. Gaté"
In excellent condition. With its aged patina.