MARC-AURELE DE FOY SUZOR-COTE, R.C.A.
signed and inscribed “Roman Bronze Works Inc., N.Y.”
height 22.25 ins; 55.6 cms
In 1923, Suzor-Cote was contacted by the Historical Monuments Commission in Quebec to create a statue of French Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet to be featured on a façade of the Parliament Building in Quebec City. Through the process of creating the final sculpture for the façade, the artist sculpted three different figures, each displaying individual attributes of the explorer: “L’Hydrographe”, showing the voyager recording details with a quill; “Le Pionnier”, presenting the same figure holding a surveying telescope; and “Le Coureur de Bois”, standing with a walking stick and bag of provisions over his shoulder. L’Allier notes that each of the three sculptures illustrated only one pertinent aspect of Jolliet’s character, leading to Suzor-Cote’s final representation of the explorer, “Jolliet”, as a less narrative version of the historic figure.
Roman Bronze Works was established by Ricardo Bertelli at the turn of the twentieth century. The foundry was purchased in 1946 by Salvatore Schiavo, his father having worked at Roman Bronze Works beginning in 1902. Salvatore’s nephew, Philip J. Schiavo, acted as president of Roman Bronze Works until the closing of the foundry.
Pierre L’Allier, “Suzor-Cote L’Oeuvre Sculpte”, Musee de Quebec, 1991, pages 92-95, pages 92 and 94, illustrated.
Rita Reif, “Plaster Masters”, “New York Times”, Friday, September 16, 1988, Arts Section.
Salvatore Schiavo, New York (owner of Roman Bronze Works, 1946-1981).
Private Collection, New York State.