François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008), Hippopotame I, 1968-1969
Polyester resin, fiberglass, brass, copper and iron
Donation in payment of inheritance tax, 2021
© ADAGP, Paris / Les Arts Décoratifs / photo: Christophe Dellière
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François-Xavier Lalanne is mainly inspired by rural as well as exotic bestiary. Hippopotame I is his very first rendering of one of his favourite animals. It is reminiscent of a small blue earthenware hippopotamus from the Middle Empire exhibited in the Louvre, which fascinated him as a young museum keeper in the Egyptian department. It is made from blue resin, a material rarely used by the artist. A washbasin is hidden in its mouth and a bathtub lies in its belly. In short, a bestiary that makes you dream and that can be used as well.