René Fache

(Douai, 1816 - Ribécourt, 1891)

Male nude standing – an academic study


Plaster
75 x 38.5 x 22 cm
Signed and dated R. Fache 3me m / 1841

Related literature:
- J-C. Poinsignon, Sortir de sa reserve. Le fonds valenciennois de sculptures XIX et XX siècle au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes, 1992, pp. 301-308 

The inscription on the plaster indicates that Fache received a third medal for this work which was presented at a competition in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1841. This was Fache’s fourth and last year of study at the principal art school in France. 

The artist would have modelled this study from life. The figure’s expression, as well as its small moustache and long hair give it a beguiling romantic feel. The Ecole des Beaux-Arts holds in its collection several works in this vein but they have otherwise disappeared in great numbers due to their fragility (and some were immediately destroyed after a competition). 

Fache trained in Paris in the studios of Théophile Bra and David d’Angers. The latter introduced him to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1836 and Fache studied there for four years before returning to Northern France, where he came from. There he led an official career as a sculptor of portraits and religious works, providing sculptures for several churches in the region. He was a professor at the Academy in Valenciennes.