Simon Bussy (Dole 1870 - London 1954)

A Copperhead Snake Sold

Pastel, over an underdrawing in pencil, on paper laid down on board.
Signed Simon Bussy at the lower left.
Inscribed No 58 / Fer de lance [crossed out] / Tete de cuivre on the reverse of the backing board.
242 x 258 mm. (9 1/2 x 10 1/8 in.)


In one of the earliest monographic studies of Simon Bussy’s work, François Fosca noted of the artist that ‘It is surprising that our time, which has seen so many excellent sculptors of animals, is so poor in animal painters. Rather than domestic or familiar animals, Bussy prefers the exotic: snakes, as beautiful as an objet d'art belonging to a refined civilization...’

Among other depictions of snakes by Bussy is a closely comparable study of a Russell’s viper of c.1925, in a private collection.

Galerie Druet, Paris, in 1932
The Leicester Galleries, London, in 1933
Private collection.

Paris, Galerie Druet, Pastels de Simon Bussy: Paysages du Maroc, Egypte, etc.. Oiseaux exotiques, reptiles, etc., June 1932, no.58 (‘Serpent tête de cuivre’); London, Ernst Brown & Phillips Ltd. (The Leicester Galleries), Pastels of Morocco and Zoo Studies by Simon Bussy, June 1933, no.38 (Copperhead Snake).


A Copperhead Snake


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