This exquisite bronze statue by Chana Orloff portrays two intertwined female dancers. It is signed by Orloff on the top of the bronze base and stamped with the Foundry “Susse Fondeur, Paris” on the back of the base.
Chana Orloff was born in a small village in Ukraine in 1888 and immigrated to Palestine with her parents and 8 siblings in 1905. After being recognized there for her sewing talents, which was used to help support her family, she was encouraged to travel to Paris to pursue training. Moving to Paris in 1910, she studied drawing with Professor Bruneau, curator of the Louvre, and art history from Paul Vitry. She also began studying sculpture at the Académie Russe in Montparnasse and became a part of the avant-garde circle of artists at that time in Paris. She worked with wood, cement, terra cotta, bronze and stone. She became well known for her portraits and artwork of the Parisian elite. She lived and worked under constant danger between 1940 and 1942 in occupied Paris, making “pocket sculptures”. She managed to escape the Nazi led 1942 “la rifle du Vel’d’hiv'”, and was able to make her way across the border into Switzerland with the help of painter George Karl where she stayed until the end of WWII. She exhibited with Henri Matisse, Georges Rouault, and Kees Van Dongen, among others. Her work was acknowledged by the French government early in her career, which made her a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. (content taken from JWA.) Susse Fondeur has been a worldwide renown foundry since 1839.