Marble sculpture Automne or Vendanges

Thanks to the Braet-Buys-Bartholomeus Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, our collections are being further enriched by a very special sculpture created by Philippe Wolfers.

Philippe Wolfers achieved huge international success with his unique pieces of jewellery but, little by little, he moved away from jewellery in favour of sculpture. This was a logical development, given the sculptural aspects of his jewellery and from 1902, his jewellery gradually became fully-fledged sculpture. Yet Philippe Wolfers the jeweller can still be seen in his sculptures, through his choice of exceptional materials and the refinement and great attention to detail in his work.

The sculpture Automne (Autumn) or Vendanges (Grape Harvest) is a good example. Completed in 1916, in the middle of World War I, this work is in the finest Carrara marble and has a sea-green marble pedestal made by the artist. Like most of his sculptures, this work was put for sale in the Wolfers boutique. Following its sale in 1925, it was last seen by the general public in 1928 in a retrospective of work by Wolfers at the well-known Giroux art gallery.

Thanks to the Braet-Buys-Bartholomeus Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, this sculpture has now returned to the Wolfers boutique, designed by Horta, and the interior of which has been identically re-constituted in a room at the Museum of Art and History in Brussels. It is on show there from 30 June 2020. Given the sculpture’s unique character, quality and provenance, this acquisition represents not only an enrichment for the collections, but also makes a significant contribution to re-creating the atmosphere of sophisticated luxury from a period in which Art Nouveau and Art Deco were indicative of ‘good taste’.

Material / technique: 
Sculpture: Carrara marble; Pedestal: sea-green marble
H: 190 cm; H without the pedestal: 68 cm
Type of acquisition: 
Acquired by the Braet-Buys-Bartholomeus Fund
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
Art & History Museum, Brussels