MAXIMILIEN-HENRI HIOLLE (Valenciennes 1843 – circa 1930)

Ernest-Eugène Hiolle (Paris 1834 – 1886 Bois-le-Roi)

Cast and reworked plaster in original mahogany frame
17½ × 13¾ inches (44.5 × 34.9 cm)
Signed and dated: M. Hiolle.1885

Ernest-Eugène Hiolle studied at the École Academique in Valenciennes before entering the studio of François Jouffroy at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Maximilien Hiolle was a debutant in the Salon of 1869.  After the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune, he participated in the various building projects around Paris, including the Palais Garnier and Hôtel de Ville, which had been destroyed during the Commune.  Hiolle became a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 1873 and was awarded the medal of honor in the Exposition Universelle of 1878.  Among his many portrait busts, he sculpted one of Charles Garnier and his teacher François Jouffroy.

This sensitive relief, of Hiolle’s older brother Ernest, exhibits a tenderness and warmth that was obviously felt between the brothers.  The attention to the details of the coiffure, moustache, and waistcoat indicate Hiolle’s skill at utilizing the vocabulary of sculpture in relief.