François-Raoul Larche's Female Figures

Sculpting the Serpentine Dance of Loïe Fuller

French Art Nouveau sculptor François-Raoul Larche is best known for his renderings of the female form. In addition to Les Violettes, a group nude with children and an older female set among flowers and leaves, Larche is highly regarded for his Loïe Fuller statues and lamps, such as the one presented here.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, American Loïe Fuller was an innovative theatrical performer, choreographer, and lighting technician living in Paris. Fuller became famous for her "Serpentine Dance," during which she wore long, flowing silk garments that caught projected colored light.

Larche's gilt bronze sculptural lamp of Fuller, sometimes called Dance of the Lily, shows her in suspended animation with her dress undulating like a flame overhead.

Loïe Fuller Serpentine Dance
Loïe Fuller performs the Serpentine Dance, 1902
(photo by Frederick Glasier)