G. SCHNEGG's Sculpture
Unlike sculptors who were his contemporaries, Gaston Schnegg created almost  no nudes. Beyond the harmonious and smooth forms of his sculptures, he sought especially  to express soul, temper, emotions, feelings. He most often sculpted directly ; he liked above all immediate contact with beautiful materials and light playing on wood or marble which had been very carefully polished. His works were always finely finished and he even sculpted ornamental pedestals or columns for some sculptures or magnificent neogothic frames for portraits.
He admired the Middle Ages very much and many of his works were inspired by that time : Saint Francis speaking to the birds (1894), Woman holding a book (circa 1895), Saint Cecilia (1896), Burgess and Scholar (1896), Inquisitor (1897) which Rodin wished to purchase but which G. Schnegg refused to surrender, Storm (1898), Gothic Maternity (ca 1898), Tithe (ca 1902), Singing (ca 1910), Talk (ca 1911).

Several of theses works can be seen on the blog of the Despiau-Wlérick Museum in Mont-de-Marsan, in the vitrine dedicated to the Schnegg brothers.

plaster cast


A marble group
in the Museum
of Bordeaux
( J.Schnegg's gift)

According to Professor Roudié from the University of Bordeaux : "The art of Gaston Schnegg has several facets and has evolved. It reached its highest level in works inspired by his family. The busts of his son André and his daughter can be placed besides the most beautiful of his brother's, of Despiau's or Wlérick's. Here Gaston Schnegg proves completely worthy of the group's(1) aesthetics : strictness, moderation, assertion of volume, and still a great originality."
Detail of an
oil painting of
G. Schnegg with
Sewing lesson
on a column

An oak statue
in the Museum of Bordeaux
( J. Schnegg's gift)

Daily life in his time also inspired him very much. His models were his wife, his children and nieces for a tenderly attentive Motherhood  in which the art critic Charles Saunier in 1898 found "a very seducing grace of design", Smart lady of 1902, a model of delicacy and elegance, Sewing lesson (1907), so touching, and Twins (1908), full of sensibility and freshness.

His first major sculpture site, when he was about 20 years old, was the facade of the three storeyed house of his parents : balconies decorated with portraits and salamanders, lintels with mascarons(2), and atlante(3) . This house is commented in a video produced par TV7 in Bordeaux, named La maison de Gaston Schnegg.

Later, he was given large orders to artistically embellish a number of locations including decoration,  a large store Les Dames de France (today Galeries Lafayette) in Bordeaux (from 1901 to 1903), the Hôtel Astoria in Paris, with his brother Lucien (1907), a house and a chapel for Mr Holagray, a rich merchant, in Talence near Bordeaux (from 1915 to 1922), and the Hôtel Frugès in Bordeaux (from 1916 to 1918). In addition, for more than fifteen years, Gaston Schnegg worked  for Rodin(4) who relied so completely on him that he sometimes forgot to specify important details and one day G. Schnegg would even ask in a letter : ..."whether it is a man's trunk that must be done in the Triton to be represented in the group which I have in my studio"...

(1) The Bande à Schnegg (the Schnegg's group)
(2) Mascaron : fancy faces
(3) Atlante : a statue bearing a large balcony on its shoulders
(4) Auguste Rodin is considered  the greatest French sculptor
Brown : all works shown on these pages.

Catalogue, Gifts, G. Schnegg's Life, G. Schnegg's Painting, Exhibitions,
Lucien Schnegg, The Bande à Schnegg, Museums, Related Sites, Small ads

Document created by Marine Schenegg
Pr Art Spring kindly helped to translate into English