Alfred-Auguste JANNIOT


After being awarded the Grand Prix de Rome, Alfred Auguste Janniot stood out, with mastery and brilliance, for his friezes and low reliefs on large walls, in Paris and in the province, be it on buildings under reconstruction or designed for universal exhibitions. He was recognized as a master in his art at the 1931 Exposition Coloniale, with the realization of the sculpted facade of the musée des Colonies, an evocation of Africa and Asia.  In 1937, the Exposition internationale des arts et techniques brought him once again into the spotlight with the huge construction sites of the new Palais de Chaillot and of the Palais de Tokyo. As an ambassador of French Sculpture, Janniot received an order for the decoration of the Rockefeller Center of New-York, whose beautiful gild bronze door of its Maison de France opens onto the 5th avenue.

His remarkable sense of decoration and allegory is reflected in his carvings in the round, such as our ‘Antelope’ with its beautiful smooth and rounded volumes. The model created around 1929-1930, measuring 101cm high, was to be installed in the nursery school Jean-Jaurès in Bouscat, nearby Bordeaux, as commissioned by its mayor of the time, Mr Cayrel. The sculpture, which is still in place, is one of the four copies listed to date.

The form prevailing over elegancy and pure lines characterizes Janniot’s work. The artist depicted animals with a great sense of decorum and of the monumental. Janniot’s both firm and supple design is not without recalling that of the imposing deer of the famous ‘Tribute to Jean Goujon’, 1924 (200cm x 235cm) held by the Foundation Calouste-Gulbenkian of Lisbon.