Armand Petersen

French sculptor

Armand Petersen (1891-1969) was born in Basel (Switzerland) on November 25, 1891.

Pompon, who gained recognition in 1922 at the Salon d’Automne with his large White Bear, liked to bring together young animal sculptors at the « Jardin des Plantes » to study live subjects. In 1926, Armand Petersen joined the class. In 1929, only two years after he had been « discovered », Petersen was one of the best animal sculptors in the group. He has been compared to Pompon and followed in his footsteps. Armand Petersen receveid several commissions from the French and foreign governments. His work can be seen in many French ambassies, but also in museums : his « Hippopotamus » at the Louvre Museum was shown at the Musée de Vernon, his « Grey Crane » at the Musée de la Chasse in Gien, his « Bull » at the Musée de Louviers, his « Panther » at Bry-sur-Marne and his « Crow » and « Calf » are in Basel (Switzerland).

About thirty of his sculptures were also produced by two of the most famous porcelain manufacturers of the time, Sèvres en Bing and Grondahl (Copenhagen).

In 1959, the Dreyfus Gallery exported his works to the United States. His choice to become an animal sculptor allowed Petersen to become a part of the so-called « Golden Age » of the thirties. It was dominated by artists who have remained rightly famous, and who influenced a whole generation of animal sculptors, including Petersen, with their particular style. In France, he gained recognition alongside the best and most famous artists, Pompon and Sandoz, who played a fundamental role in his development and acclaim.

It is interesting to observe the work of one of Pompon’s disciples who, while assimilating his mentor’s basic principles, maintained a certain originality, combining several different talents ; he revived his former training as a goldsmith to create works that were exquisite and often unique. Petersen maintained a strong sense of continuity and a concern for perfection. He was an ascetic, both as a man and an artist, who was able to develop steadily despite the interruptions caused by certain events during his life, but which he was able to overcome, although he suffered because of the touble times and his inability to accept easy solutions.