Romania - 1886 - 1947
Demetre Chiparus (Romanian, 1886–1947) was a sculptor known for his ivory and bronze sculptures of Russian dancers. Chiparus was born in Romania, but spent much of his life and career in France, before the start of World War I. Chiparus studied in both Italy and France, at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Chiparus established himself in Paris as a successful artist of the Art Deco style, exhibiting at the Salon in 1914, and developing a reputation as a master of the sculpting technique chryselephantine, which is the combined use of bronze and ivory.
During the 1920s, Chiparus was inspired by the excavation of Tutankhamen’s tomb, and began to make sculptures with an Egyptian influence.
Chiparus most commonly sculpted dancers, inspired by the Russian Ballet and French theater. Chiparus’s dancers were executed in various poses and elaborate, Egyptian-inspired costumes, and were characterized by their slender, stylized appearance.
He worked primarily with the Edmond Etling and Cie Foundry in Paris, but despite his commercial success, he exhibited very rarely at the Salon. Collecting interest in his work experienced a resurgence in the 1970s, and, today, his pieces command high prices at auction.