Petersen by Etienne Audfray

One day of spring 1959, I ask to be received by Armand Petersen. Why this step? Sculptor myself, I had been informed of the notoriety and the competence of a man, specialist recognized in an artistic discipline that I wished to deepen. With the first access, I discovered an elegant man, a little severe, rather not very inclined with a spontaneous and opened, but very polished and intelligent reception. I presented to him, a little awkwardly one of my sculptures which it looked with attention and courtesy.

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introduction uk

Of its work only the memory of the animalist sculptor will be retained, choice which made him share one time called “golden age”, that of the Thirties, dominated by figures remained rightly famous, because they marked all the generation by to impressing a style with a group of animalist sculptors of which he is a member.

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1923 uk

Sculptor in 1923, it gains the ordering of a portrait of Danish dog “Rex”(n° 26). He works with more close to reality, measures the animal, refers has photographs of face, the two profiles and three-quarters. He will keep this practice, but later will make the synthesis of it.

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The veil rises in 1927 when Armand Petersen Marie with a Belgian journalist, Sabine Demestre, mother of a little girl born of a first marriage. She will convince it to leave her reserve, will help it by her trade to reveal an already perfect work in a restricted ...

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1929 uk

In 1929, two years after its “discovery” Petersen belongs to the best animalists. One quotes it after Pompon and like his follower.

To measure itself with large, Petersen will turn to the natural size which, without being monumental reflects the truth. It shows its capacity while deviating from the object of showcase.

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1931 uk

The group of the “Twelve French Animalists” deposits its statutes. The majority of these artists exposed to the annual show of the Company of the Animalist Artists, as members or as guests .II was precisely to join together animalists of all tendencies, Petersen, Switzerland ...

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1933 uk

The exposures will follow one another, Pompom dies. In 1933, Petersen will be able to devote itself again to the study of models for bronze with the Squirrel (disappeared), the Fox terrier (nonlocalized) dog very with the mode, the Lion and the Lioness, excellent and personal parts though kneaded principles of Pompom.

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1935 uk

With share exposures of the gallery Malesherbes in April which joins together the animalists with the Artistic Circle of Paris (…) in April, where will be exposed without surprised the Antelope and Duck, and in its gallery (…) the annual exposure “Animalists” Petersen does not take part in any living room.

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1937 uk

In 1937, to the Paris Exposition Universelle, Petersen exposes in the House of the Decorators a Zebra (n° 94), on a marble base composed by him (n° 94). With the Animalists of 1937, Malesherbes gallery, Furniture and Decoration mention the LAMA (n°50) “and the animals spiritual and judicious, covered sumptuous patinas.

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1939 - 1945

1939 uk

Following the declaration of the war in 1939, the mobilization dissolves the group of the animalists and Sandoz places at the disposal of the Town of Paris the Malesherbes gallery so that the Company of the Mutual aid and Fraternity of the Artists organizes there exposures ...

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1947 uk

1947. The girl of Sabine Petersen, Christiane Cayla marries in second wedding Lebanese, Jean Accaoui, who has bonds with his beautiful family. She receives in gift of her paternal uncle a house in Chatou. Knowing the financial problems of the couple of Armand and Sabine which besides contributed of sound better to the daily newspaper by its journalistic profession until there but whose health is ...

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1949 uk

De cette même année, trois modèles : le Fennec (n° 42), le Taureau (n° 85), vendu plus tard à Angers en bronze, (…), ainsi que Le Perroquet sur Rocher, Cacatoès, (n° 15), réalisé par la suite en grés flammé par Fouquet, (…) seront tous les trois refusés.

Il est certain que depuis 1939, et peut-être avant, la situation financière de Petersen était devenue difficile et les éditions en céramique lui apportaient quelques revenus.


1951 uk

Between 1951 and 52, Petersen settles in Nogent, its workshop follows it. This large cut to cause the departure of a new period when the sculptor during 17 years will perfect work and will create models while wanting to represent them with their real size in nature.

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1955 uk

Moreover, the contact with Switzerland continues.By preserved photographs, dated 1955, we see Petersen in company of an young woman in Switzerland with Evolène, where it made a stay with the Hotel of the White Tooth, it enjoys a splendid sight of the high mountain with Marcottes. The Antelope Cob (n°9) increased, worked again in 1955 for the third time, will profit from the study of the Roe-deer, ...

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1961 - 1962

1961 uk

It takes again its models inlassablement. The Bear, made out of porcelain of increased Copenhagen, will remain out of plaster (n° 58/2). The Penguin, also increased out of plaster. (n° 76/3).

The Roe-deer, published in reduction by Bisceglia, the Small Toucan, reduction of large (period of Nogent), remarkable by its precision .prévue to be placed on a perch out of exotic turned wooden, like the Parakeet. Good example of object of collection, out of bronze.

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1965 - 1966

1965 uk

Between 1965 and 1966, separately the likings flames of Fouquet Heads and Cacatoès on rock certain parts will be intended for bronze but could the being in likings, like the head of Cockatoo, melted at Biscéglia, which resembles a radiator cap but the object is treated preciously with eyes of color crimped of gold.

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1969 uk

This same year, he visits the Brussels World's Fair in company of Etienne Audfray who starts to collaborate in his work and will contribute to a last enlarging of a Panther (n°62) in 1969. Etienne Audfray, mayor of his commune makes it buy for Bry-sur-Marne where he lives.

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1891 - 1921

1891 uk

1891 - Birth of Armand Petersen on November 25th. His older brother, Georges, mégissier like his father, will succeed to him the tannery of Hantes, Beaumont. After its studies, Armand Petersen between at the School of Industrial arts in Geneva, in the class of goldsmithery and chiselling.

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1924 - 1926

1924 uk

In 1924, animalist art is in full rise. Pompom, Sandoz, Mateo its inspirers. Pompom, revealed in 1922 with the living room of Fall by its large Polar bear, gathers with the Botanical garden of the young animalists which study the models on nature while taking its advice.

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1928 uk

1928, decisive year for Petersen which while remaining very integrated into the group of the animalists around Pompon will expose personally elsewhere than in France, in Brussels, II will be noticed in Paris where the Brandt gallery and of the decorators ...

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1930 uk

In February 1930, the gallery Brandt joint animalists with the busts of the sculptors of the French school claiming tradition (Bourdelle, Wlerick, Drivier, Landowski, Jean Boucher, Sapiens).

In June and July, with the XXème Living room of the Artists Decorators, the Haddock (n°l) out of bronze is delicious, according ...

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1932 uk

In 1932, the economic crisis touches the artists who often expose their plaster works. The ceramics editions will provide an income to good number of artists, as in Petersen which will multiply them both in Sevres and has Copenhagen by new agreements.

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1934 uk

In 1934, Petersen move in with 189 rue Ordener, the XVIIIème - city of artists - workshop will be independent of the apartment. Thereafter Petersen will rent a workshop-housing, street Ordener, in the same city, smaller, after the departure of his/her mother-in-law. The animalists will be found in first line and will hold the attention ...

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1936 uk

However, these editions were not sufficient to ensure at the same time the existence of the sculptor and the cost of bronze works. This is why, for the World Fair planned for 1937, Petersen proposes in Sevres two models, the Otary already published by Bing, but undoubtedly worked again, therefore different and increased.

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1938 uk

But at the same time, its personality repaired in the Mandrill (n°81) synthesis of volumes rounded and of projecting lines, incisors, in the tension and the immobility, reserves attentive and interrogative, kind of challenge, replacing the concern of the beginnings. Exposed out of plaster to the “Animalists” 1938, Malesherbes gallery,  ...

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1946 uk

In February, resumption of the annual exposure to the Art gallery, (…) with Sandoz chair for the sculpture and Paul Jouve for painting. For the first time the “Animalist Artists” gathered on left bank (...) This exposure wanted to be the image of a found ostentation.

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1948 uk

In 1948, Petersen takes again activity, it cotise at the National company of the Art schools whose living room is twinned with that of the French Artists in April to the Palate of New York. Thanks to Sandoz, the annual exposures of the Animalists begin again with the Volney Circle, which it repurchased and renovated. Called “Club Free-Switzerland” Petersen was well in its place.

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1950 uk

In July 1950, Sabine Petersen dies of a cancer, and for Armand, it is the one happy period end. He loses his support. In spite of its sadness and its depressive state, realizing of its loneliness, it makes the decision to continue its work while going in Nogent, in the House of the Artists, thanks to Guy Loé, his director, who proposes this solution to him.

Guy Loé like Brandt, Sandoz, Sabine, will be there at the good moment and will play the same dynamic part.


1954 uk

For the first time, the State is interested in work of Petersen and (…) the Large Roe-deer acquires which will be (…) given to Louviers on March 30th, 1956, where it is currently (N° 23 bis). The Roe-deer counts among the successes of the sculptor.

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1958 - 1960

1958 uk

In 1958 Petersen, member of the Living room of Fall is reproduced on the list but its sendings are not mentioned in the catalog. It becomes acquainted with Jean Joachim, disciple of Pompom and his expert (small Bears and the large Bear of the museum of Luxembourg).Stone mason, but also modeller and later medaillor, teaching the trade, it devoted most of his work to animalist art and made known himself like tel.

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1963 - 1964

1963 uk

Meanwhile, to Nogent, van Hasseit, painter of talent to which the workshop is close to the sculptor, invite it to pose.

The portrait of Petersen impresses by its presence and its truth on decorative and coloured bottom. Excel table which shows us a émacié man of great distinction, with the major glance whose acuity is veiled by large glasses. Character severe, energetic, with the bitter and tight mouth.

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1967 - 1968

1967 uk

In 1967 the Flavian gallery, (…) expose some works of which the Marabout, the Bull with those of his/her friends Jean Joachim, Etienne Audfray. The gallery will continue to sell thereafter until its closing in 2000. But it sells at low prices, if little, that its financial position worries it.

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Et puis ...

1985 uk

In 1971, with the gallery of the Hoop, (…) the exposure “Animalists” (…) will include works of Petersen Antilope Guib, Merle, Poisson, Perruche, plasters model which had remained, in the workshop.

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