Completed Continental European after 1800, Military History, Sculpture 13 Could this be by Georges Petit and could 'J.L.' be the sitter's initials?

ABD_GHIM_GH3219_001
Topic: Subject or sitter

Although the title of this bronze is Petit Georges with the artist recorded as J. L., as that is the stamp bottom left, is the Georges Petit signature bottom right in fact the artist's name?

Andrew Shore, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. The sculptor was identified as Georges Petit (1879–1958). The initials ‘JL’ refer of the foundry of Joseph Lissoir of Liège. The sitter was confirmed as Albert Léopold Clément Marie Meinrad (1875–1934), Albert I of Belgium (1909–1934). Both the sculptor and the foundry are new additions to the list of artists on Art UK.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.

12 comments

This has similarities with portraits by the Belgian sculptor Georges Petit. The Collection’s online record states 'plaque depicting bust of French Officer; 'Petit Georges'' but could this be a Belgian uniform?

Andrew Cormack,

I would not pretend to be an expert on Belgian uniforms of the Great War but their officer's kepis (caps) did bear a cockade at the top edge and a strap. French kepis did not have this arrangement. French jackets were single-breasted rather than double-breasted as shown here. I suggest that a query is made to the Belgian army Museum in Brussels. The insignia, which I take to be a rank badge, on the greatcoat collar appears to indicate an officer of Grenadiers, possibly a colonel as he has three stars. See Army Uniforms of World War I by Andrew Mollo.

Kieran Owens,

That should be in honour or celebration of, not in memory of!

Kieran Owens,

Petit fashioned a second medallion with the King as its subject, in 1918. The same JL monogram is visible on the face of it, as is Petit's signature and date:

https://bit.ly/3lOQm1t

Kieran Owens,

The JL monogram is for the foundry of Joseph Lissoir of Liège.

Osmund Bullock,

As ever Kieran gets in ahead, well done! I hadn't identified the sitter, but was just writing to ask for a higher-res of the monogram, which I suspected was the foundry or publisher's mark for an edition of the plaque. There are comparable good-quality multiple of sculpture of British war leaders, such as Richard Belt's reduced-size version of his 1916 bust of Kitchener.

Kieran Owens,

• Artist

Georges Petit (1879 - 1958)

Georges Petit was born on the 14th March 1879, in Lille, France, to Belgian parents, and died at Ampsin, in the province of Liège, Belgium, on the 28th December 1958:

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Petit_{LPARENTHESES} sculpteur)

https://bit.ly/378r6zh

• Title

Albert Léopold Clément Marie Meinrad (1875 - 1934) (Albert I); King of the Belgians (1909 - 1934)

As Petit was a fervent Walloon, the French version of the King's name might be best used.


As this discussion has successfully identified the artist of this plaque as Georges Petit (1879-1958), the initials 'JL' as those of the foundry of Joseph Lissoir of Liège and the subject as King Albert I of the Belgians (1875-1934) in the uniform of an officer of the Belgian Army, I recommend that it may now be closed.