In 1889, year of the Universal Exhibition, the sculptor Alfred Auguste JANNIOT was born in Paris. After having studied with Antoine INJALBERT, he was awarded the ‘Grand Prix de Rome’ for sculpture in 1919.
By then, his career had already begun with a ‘Honourable’ mention at the ‘Salon des Artistes Français’ in 1910.
At that time, his style was influenced by A. BOURDELLE, whom he admired.
In 1925, JANNIOT took part in the great exhibition of the Decorative Arts, which was a determining event for the art movements. It was in the pavilion Ruhlmann with a ‘Homage to Jean Goujon’ that JANNIOT expressed his taste for the classicism of the Renaissance that A. MAILLOL had promoted. ‘Sculpture must be decorative before conveying an idea or expressing feelings.’ Thus JANNIOT carried out the decoration for the steamer “Ile de France” in 1927 and for the “Normandy” in 1935.
His imagination and his taste for allegory could be expressed only through monumental works.
A commission for the façade for the National Museum of African and Oceanian Arts in Paris (1200 m2) gave him the opportunity to show that he knew how to carve low-reliefs.
In 1934, he created a decor for the ‘Rockefeller Center’, in New York: Façade of ‘La Maison Francaise”. This same year he began the large “Fountain of the Sun” in Nice, which will only be completed in 1957. Meanwhile, he carved the southern façade of the Palace of Tokyo in Paris (1937) “Legend of the Earth” and “Legend of the Sea”.
We are also indebted to him for the Memorial of the Mount Valérien: “La France Combatante”.
Admirer of the XVIth century, JANNIOT designed tapestry cartoons for the GOBELINS and for many private clients.
Throughout his career, honours and medals were showered on Alfred Auguste JANNIOT: Member of the Institute, Academician, Commander of Arts and Letters…
The last great sculptor of monumental art of his generation, he endeavoured to train followers by holding the post of professor of Monumental Art at the Beaux-Arts in Paris between 1945 and 1959.
JANNIOT died in Neuilly sur Seine in 1969. He left us a colossal oeuvre, of a great elegance, which we are now rediscovering after a thirty year long lapse of memory.