François-Raoul Larche known as François-Raoul Larche Raoul Larche (1860-1912) is the son of Guillaume Larche, ornamental sculptor and cabinetmaker. After passing through the National School of Decorative Arts, he was admitted to the National School of Fine Arts in Paris where he was a pupil of François Jouffroy, Auguste Dumont, Alexandre Falguière, Jean-Léon Gérôme and Eugène Delaplanche. Larche began at the Salon of French Artists in 1884 and exhibited regularly until 1911. In 1886, he won the second Grand Prix de Rome for sculpture. That year, the subject of the contest was Tobias removing the fish from the water. He was awarded a third class medal in 1890, a first class medal in 1893, a gold medal at the 1900 World’s Fair, and a medal of honor in 1910.
Raoul Larche is one of the many artists to have been influenced by the American dancer Loïe Fuller: the 1901 lamp inspired by the dancer, by its evocative power, classifies him among the sculptors who broke with academic art and assured him great notoriety. This is how he created many bronze and pewter art objects (lamp, vase, chandelier, decorative cups …) which were edited by the Siot-Decauville art foundry in Paris. He also produced several religious statues such as Joan of Arc at the Church of Gagny or Saint-Antoine at the Church of Saint-Antoine-des-Quinze-Vingts in Paris. Member of the jury of the School of Fine Arts in Paris and of the Salon of French Artists, in 1904 he joined the committee of the Society of French Artists. He was promoted to officer of the Legion of Honor in 1910.
On June 3, 1912, he was run over by a car while walking, on the arm of a friend, through the streets of Lagny and died during the day. In 1920, the Salon des Artistes Français organized a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Grand Palais in Paris. His widow offered to donate her husband’s works to the city of Bordeaux on condition that a Raoul-Larche room be created in the Musée des Beaux-Arts. This room, inaugurated in 1921, was suppressed in the early 1930s, a period during which Art Nouveau fell out of favor in the eyes of museum curators. On June 14, 1937, all of the pieces from Raoul Larche’s workshop were put on sale at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris.