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A French sculptor, Alfred Boucher won the Grand Prix du Salon in
1881, and moved to Italy the following year. He also served as the main mentor to Camille Claudel. He was from Bouy-sur-Ovin. He was the son of a farmhand
who became the gardener of the sculptor Ramus, recognizing Boucher's talent he opened his studio to him.
'Au But' (to the goal) won critical
acclaim when Alfred Boucher entered it in the Prix de Salon of 1886 in Paris. It drew praise as one of the masterpieces which honors French art.
But!,' a bronze depicting three runners, was completed around the time German archeologists uncovered Olympia and discovered the arena where the ancient
games were conducted. 'Au But!' contributed to the French inspiration to participate in the recreation of the Olympic games. Boucher was commissioned
to do a larger version for the Luxemburg Gardens.
Boucher, along with friend Paul Dubois, implemented moving a wine pavilion used in the 1889
Exposition to Montaparnasse, a section of Paris that was popular with 19th century artists. The pavilion was then converted into 24 wedge shaped artistsí
It was later referred to as the beehive and eventually grew into 140 studios. During the 20th century, artists such as Archipenko, Chagall,
Soutine, and Leger all worked at the beehive. It remained in use until 1960.
His contribution to French 19th century sculpture was of great influence
and merit. He was also instrumental in convincing the French government in reversing their decision of not purchasing a sculpture by little known bronze
artist, August Rodin. That piece is now a French national treasure. His ability for composition, and flawless 'feel' for sculpture will only be
matched by few people.
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