Camille Alaphilippe took a keen interest in the possibilities of ceramics during his stay at the Villa Medici in 1901.
In 1914, he would in fact become the manager of Alexandre Bigot’s fired stoneware factory in Mer (Loir-et-Cher), which mainly produced architectural ceramics.
Woman with Monkey consists of a daring assembly of gilt bronze elements (the head and hands) and pieces of enamelled stoneware mounted on a wood and iron structure and held together by a mortar of crushed brick, with joints in coloured plaster.
Hieratic and mysterious, the work owes as much to the symbolist image of the femme fatale holding an admirer in chains as to the neo-medieval inspiration that was special to its author.
The ensemble forms a kind of giant art object, and the charm of its silhouette and its shimmering colours make us forget the technical prowess and ingenuity of this artist who deserves to be better known.