Who Were The Moreau Sculptors?

Mathurin Moreau Joan of Arc Six Continents - lOcéanie

Musée d’Orsay: Six Continents - l’OcéanieCreative Commons License courtesy of wallyg

The Moreau family sculptor dynasty begins with Jean Baptiste Moreau, who was born in Dijon, France at the end of the 18th century. Jean Baptiste had three sons who followed in his footsteps, they were Auguste, Mathurin and Hyppolyte-François. The legacy continued with Auguste’s sons, Louis Auguste and Hyppolyte Francois. Members of the Moreau family often studied at the famous École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Mathurin received many awards and specialized more in large statues - like you find in a town square, and his work followed the academic style. Many of Mathurin’s sculptures can be found around Paris, including L’Océanie, which is located in the Musée d’Orsay courtyard. Mathurin also won first place at the Paris World Fair in 1855 for his Fontaine de Tourny, which is now located in Quebec.

The other 2 of the 3 brothers were more into “production”, and the whole family was in the sculptor “business”. Auguste’s sons Louise Auguste and Hyppolyte Francoise also went into partnership when they created the L & F Moreau signature for their spelter (a die cast metal with a bronze coating) and bronze statues. In addition to the L & F Moreau mark, the statues were signed by one of the two brothers.

As far as authenticity goes, there were MANY reproductions of most things. Since the sculptures were cast, there was nothing stopping the family from using the cast to produce multiple statues. So, while a statue might not be a “fake”, it might still be an “in house” reproduction. Since the family was known to reproduce their own sculptures, the likelihood of having the original statue is pretty low. A Paris stamp on the statue is indicative of the factory that continued to produce statuary even after the family members passed. Some Moreau statues do command a good price, but most are made of spelter, and many are painted.

They were very talented men, but definitely in the sculpture “business”.

Fontaine de Tourny Fontaine de Tourny

Creative Commons License courtesy of djof

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.


  • Joanne Ruth: This is good information for those with questions about Moreau sculptors and sculptures. I give this two thumbs up ;)
  • Gee Bee: thanks Joan...like I said I am not sure why they fascinate me so...most likely cause they took their talent and passion and made a lot of money...lol. I have often wondered if they became burnt out from time to time
  • NoHoInTO: I have an M.Moreau bronze sculpture, approximately 6" tall of a young elephant, sitting, small ivory tusks, atop a black agate/marble base. More Art Deco in style. Signed M.Moreau. Cannot find any other similar pieces online, or through dealers. Family heirloom from Belgium. Curious to know about the artist and the history. Any feedback?
  • Gee Bee: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathurin_Moreau
    Can you post a pic please...Is it bronze??
    Mathurin Moreau usually signed his pieces as Matt Moreau
  • Gee Bee: There is lots of feedback here...lol.... a picture would be really cool...thanks..and can you try to include a close up of the signature and any stamps or symbols that are on there...
  • NoHoInTO: Hello Gee Bee, thank you for getting back. I’ve taken a few photos and will submit them. The signature is definitely "M Moreau", not with the full first name. Ivory tusks (one missing...WWII victim). Looking forward.
  • Gee Bee: Can’t wait to see pics...
  • Ken: Hope you ALL can help me... Auguste Moreau ... I’m trying to date my Auguste Moreau Statue. Does anyone know the dates of the Originals statue models? I have the "Secret" statue, when was it first created? Thanks - <email>
  • Gee Bee: I will have to research somewhat...is there an additional "stamp" sometimes that has the date...but also means it is an in house repro
  • Ken - to - Gee Bee: Gee Bee... My statue is a mystery. Many people say it’s a repro because they see it in 2 dimensional pictures. Honestly, that’s the easiest answer a person can give especially when they can’t answer the question. There isn’t any stamps, markings, or anything to describe it, just what it looks like when I compare it side-by-side to the statue that I know who the designer is. So far my research is the only thing that I believe. I just can’t find the dates of A. Moreau statues - that would help a lot. If you are interested in what my statue looks like, here is the link where I have it posted: http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/general-discussion/384851-bronze-sculpture-statue-very-unique-never-seen-before-need-help.html#post3675998
  • Gee Bee:

    I think you should have it appraised in person by a local expert in bronzes. It could be a repro...but it could also be a model...I am pretty sure  all bronzes are made in pieces...so....it may be unfinished...I do not think it crude...but that is solely my opinion...it definitely needs to be appraised in person....good luck and let us know what you find out please...This group of sculptors is dear to my heart...thanks...Gee

  • Gee Bee: PS...without a signature or stamp...it may be nothing....that is why it is necessary to have a knowledgeable person look at it in person...which is truly the best way to do it anyway...
  • Ken: Yes Gee Bee my plans are for an expert to look at it. I’m hoping to get it all taken care of after the holidays. Did you have time to look at the pictures? The pictures are O.K.(???), but really a person needs to closely examine the bronze under Higher magnification. I buy many items - mostly quality made things. This bronze isn’t what I would call quality, but in order to make this bronze, the person did do a lot of planning & had many-many hours spent in making it. Hear are my "Bottom-line" thoughts. Whom ever took the time in making this bronze dedicated weeks or even months in doing so. My thinking is Time = Money. Even if Auguste Moreau didn’t have anything to do with it, it still has to be worth a Pretty Penny. It’s hard to see from those pictures, but I expect this bronze being about 150 years old. If you do the math - A. Moreau started to create statues in 1855; when he was 21 yrs old. 150 years from 2014 brings us down to 1864. Reading say "His works were first exhibited in 1861; therefore the artist became very early well-known" http://www.artbronze.com/moreau.aspx . My question is: Who would copy a 30 year old young man’s art? At this time he is just becoming known. I can’t imagine someone coping a No-Name; hopefully he will become famous, Artist. Maybe I think to deep in my reseach, but I plan to prove this is the birth of the "Secret" Statue. Thanks for responding to me & I’ll let you know what happens. - Ken
  • Gee Bee:

    I don’t want to argue with you Ken....but the Moreau brothers were very similar in talent....without a signature it would be virtually impossible to verify who did this, whether it be a Moreau brother or not. I question that the piece is solid....I don’t think most bronzes are....but that is out of my realm...the statue is a VERY rough draft...and only a VERY adept appraiser will be able to give you the correct info. One of my colleagues on here suggested once to someone that they put it on Ebay, and let it estimate itself..personally I do not think it is a Moreau..that and 50 cents might get you a coffee somewhere...and Auguste was prolific, but did not sculpt as well as the others...again my opinion

  • Ken: Gee Bee... No Arguing involved. By having this conversation it’s helping me figure out this bronze. The bronze is not solid. I read many artist didn’t sign their work until it was complete and ready for casting or to be sold, still this is a Model of a Statue. That is why I don’t think it was signed. Comparing my bronze to other "Secrets", there are difference(s), that why I’m thinking it’s still in the making. I wouldn’t try to sell it on ebay until I know the Fasts, Knowledge & Proof are valuable.
  • Reza: Hi, i have two excellent statue with sigh of Math Moreau but I i don’t know if they are real or not.
  • Reza: If needed i can send pictures of them in order to some body help me to expertise these. They are very nice and beautiful.
  • Vale: Hi Reza, I recommend posting your question and photos in the forum rather than as a blog comment! (see the red "Ask Your Question" box in the top right corner of the screen)
  • Philis: I have a AUGUSTE MOREAU "Young Lovers" sculpture but it appears to be made of porcelain with a wonderful wood look patina. The only one’s I can find are showing as bronze. Is it possible this is an original sculpture?
  • Gee Bee: Reza....PLEASE send pics...and try to include a close up of the signature and any other markings..Math...or Mathurin was the best of the Moreaus...MY OPINION>..lol...he certainly won MANY awards for his sculptures.
    Philis...I have NEVER seen a Moreau in Porcelain....the original would not have been in porcelain...(someone correct me if they know differently).....Originals were generally done in clay or wax...My guess is it is a reproduction....I would suggest a Google search for Moreau Porcelains....as I intend to do later....
    I have recently found an Auguste statue...and the name escapes me...BUT it is at a flea market that I do marketing for...he is only asking 495 for it....she is holding a water jug on her left shoulder....
    IF anyone has more questions please feel free to message me...thanks
  • Philis: Thank you so much, I will research further.
  • Gee Bee: Philis....I searched for Moreau in porcelain...I did NOT see ANY porcelain...it appears they were all done in bronze and spelter...
  • Grace: I have a beautiful statue of two women, and at the feet is a signature of H. Moreau. Can you tell me who the sculptor was (seems like there were two Moreau s with an H. first initial. Also, can you point me in the direction of how I might get it appraised? Thanks very much.
  • Gee Bee: Biography [ edit | edit the code ]
    Francis said Hippolyte was the second son of the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Moreau and forms in the workshop of his father.
    With his two brothers Mathurin and Augustus , he moved to Paris to follow the teaching of François Jouffroy at the School of Fine Arts .
    From 1863 to 1914 he exhibited at the Salon of French artists where he sends decorative subjects most often inspired by the xviii th century. He won a medal at the Universal Exhibition of 1878 and another at the 1900 World Fair .
    It mainly produces medium size pieces and decorative and everyday objects: vases, figurines, paper cutter , pockets in bronze , in controls or tin .
    He is the author of the statue of Alexis Claude Clairaut (1880) on one of the facades of the City of Paris , rue Lobau .
    Most of his works are preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts in Dijon .
  • Gee Bee: I re read this and it was perhaps vague....Hippolyte Moreau is the artist....and as far as getting it appraised....there are bound to be antique shops where you are...but if you just want a rough idea..check Ebay....not totally accurate....Mathurin was the most valuable with Hippolyte next...Augustus was the most prolific and least detailed...that is my opinion about the detailing....lol...
  • Bill: Saw a pair of matching bronze statues at a local antique shop
    M. Moreau stamped on base
    Large, almost three feet tall,
    very heavy. Were of a semi nude,
    in one hand holding a cloak over one shoulder.
    Red flowers with green leaves on
    the base. Real, or repro ?
    Can you help
  • Gee Bee: Most likely real....BUT I would have to see pics and pics of the signature
  • margaret yager: Love to have news regarding the Moreau sculptures I have quite a few quite large ones.
  • Gee Bee: HOW cool is that....send pictures.....I wold love to see them...and can you include a description and maybe who signed them....SO nice of you to comment...thanks..Gee
  • Eunice Mitchell: I have an LF Moreau signed 17 inch tall Bronze statue of a woman sitting on a tall log netting. Standing next to her is a sheep. It’s been in the family 60 years. Curious of its worth.
  • Nancy Taylor: Your description of the Moreau’s is very good and I appreciate the work you went to and also to post.
    I have a Louis Moreau sculpture that is bronze and signed. It does not have the foundry stamp (which could be good from what I have read meaning it wasn’t mass produced). I haven’t found the exact statue pictured anywhere (which is also good, I think). It is of an Art Nouveau young girl/lady with small butterfly wings and she is holding a small bouquet of flowers in one hand and has fabric draping to the base and covering her lower privates in the front. She has small breasts and barefooted. She has a belt around her waist with a bow. She stands approximately 21" tall and is in perfect condition and stands on a brown and white marble base.
    I would like to provide pics for you to view and see what you think. I need help to get her off the mantle.
  • Gee Bee: Be aware that most were not bronze, but spelter...the Bronzes are extremely rare...but would still love to have photos
  • Nancy Taylor: I’m going to try to send the pics. She is about 20 1/2" tall
  • Gee Bee: Would love to see them thanks
  • Eunice Mitchell: Here are pictures of my 17 inch tall Bronze Moreau ! Curious on worth ! Can you help me out ?
  • Eunice Mitchell: We’re do I send the photos ?
  • Gee Bee: WE have all never been an appraisal service.....for one of those a person would have to be there in person....send the photos to the forum...and there are no pics...
  • Nancy Taylor: Right below your last comment is a place to add a comment (is that the blog?), but I don’t find a spot to attach pics - Can you please explain how to do this? Thank you–Nancy
  • L Harris: Recently acquired a clock with a sculpture of a girl on top holding a musical instrument. There is a small plate on it with the following:
    Chant de la Brises
    Par L. Et F. Moreau Mlle D’Or
    Unsure if this is actually a Moreau sculpture to begin with, and if so, is it a family reproduction or a copied reproduction, highly unlikely to be original.
  • gee bee: The molds to the sculptures were hidden during the war....THIS is LIKELY after the war and a factory piece....BUT...without seeing the actual marks I can venture NO more than that...
    IF you care to share the marks, I can do some research..OR if you like...just google Moreau Brothers sculptures and there is a plethora of answers...
    Let me know IF I can help...thanks for your interest...
  • Gee Bee: I may ad...that in answering this, I did some research..I am obsessed with the Moreaus...so any time to research is cool....LOL...the "expert article" I read did not even mention Mathurin who was the BEST of the clan....
    here is a link to images...
    Par L. Et F. Moreau Mlle D’Or ...I googled that and went to images to get the pics.....
  • Mac: Can a signed Moreau sculptures with just a year and last name authentic? I have one that has markings "Moreau 1902" . Any info or help is highly appreciated.
  • Gee Bee: Pictures are always necessary....but I have to say NORMALLY none of the signatures were like this.....so...and THIS is only my opinion....so without pics...I cannot begin to say more
  • mac: How can I send you the pictures? Any email address where I can send it to? Thanks
  • Gee Bee: You can attach them and post them here
  • mac: I sent you the pictures but you did not send me any answers if this is authentic or not or maybe you want me to get your paid appraiser? Thanks for your help.
  • Gee Bee: where did you send them.?....I don’t do paid appraisals
  • mac: I will attached again. Thanks
  • mac: Just sent them to you. Thanks
  • Gee Bee: where did you send it...it is not here
  • mac: Below, Ask a new Question with red border. I attached the photos. It is your website you should know. Thank you
  • Gee Bee: Thanks for the attempt to send pics....First you accused me of only wanting to be paid for an appraisal which I don’t do...I share this info because I enjoy it...THEN you tell me where you posted the pics, and say it is MY website, which it is not. I am someone who wrote a blog here. I had help getting it published on this site by the techs....I KNOW about the Moreaus...but I am not all that great with tech stuff....I feel you need to do your own research.
    I don’t even think you have a real Moreau....just a copy of some sort....Good luck in your search
    Mic and Admin....I am sorry for my outburst....but someone seeking help doesn’t need to be rude....
    HUGS to all the rest of you
  • KV: FRANKLY GEE BEE, I don’t know what the HELL you are talking about so you need to shut your **** mouth. That’s my advice.
  • Gee Bee: KV....my comments were not directed at you and I am not even sure who you are. SO MY advice would be IF you don’t know what I am talking about then you should not have an opinion
  • Virginia (Ginger) Mota: Hi Gee Bee,,I have been gifted with a Hip Moreau. It does have a large signature on the side of it Its slanted with the Hip above the Moreau It is the bust of a vivacious young woman with a low cut dress. Showin some of her bust. KNOW OF IT??? Ginger
  • Gee Bee: oNo Ginger I do not....that would be Hipolyte Moreau....I would love to see pics , and especially of the signature...thanks for sharing
  • Lois: Question did a moreau have a sculpture with ballet dancers
  • Gee Bee: I don’t know about every statue...I am guessing so ...their works were signed...look for the signature
    Video for the moreau brother sculptors on youtube 2:34
    13 Sep 2013 - Uploaded by Elite Decorative Arts
    After Auguste Moreau (FRENCH, 1834-1917) bronze sculpture depicting a seated woman. Measures 19 ...
    Missing: brother
  • masterbaz: ive got two figures im looking to sell. or identify . ill try and upload some images
  • joe: I have a "secret"Moreau about 20 inches tall signed A Moreau on the back,it is on an old marble base.It is bronze and I bought it more than 20 years from a dealer.This is not a modern repro but that is all I know about it.
  • Gee Bee: Are you sure it is bronze and not spelter....there is a vast difference in value....
    The signature would be Auguste Moreau and why is it "secret"
  • Tico: I have this lamp with the Francoise Collection seal,its 5′5′’ tall,is a barefoot girl like a maid,standing by a spiral garland of roses,and 6 lights flowers,the base its like a fountain,on the vey bottom have marked with paint L.A. 9-18-63,I did find one similar in the base a Monumental Cherub Floor Lamp Lantern Planter Italian French Light Slag Glass Lantern,but I’ve not found any other...Any idea?
    P.S How can I post a picture of ?
  • Gee Bee: I believe the stamp you are describing is part of the art that was mass reproduced in later years when the brothers were not really involved....as far as posting pics...I am not sure how that works and you would need to contact an admin to get that help....IF any of the admin is reading...can you help???
    Without a pic what I have said is all I can say...but that is not even accurate...
    Thanks for your interest
  • Tico: Thank you Gee Bee,I wll try to find about it,at least to give it a name,lol. Thanks a lot!
  • Gee Bee: give what a name???...now I am confused...LOL
  • Monica: I have a Moreau, I have the history of how it was obtained.
    I don’t know the name of the piece or if it is reproduced or an original. It is of a boy which looks like he was washed a shore sitting on rocks with crabs at his feet.
    I can send you pics, it’s abnout 45-50" tall
    Can you help?
  • Gee Bee: Perhaps.....What is it you need to know....and PLEASE send the pics..especially of the signature...thanks...I will help if I can
  • Monica: What email do I sent pictures to?
  • Monica: I’m trying to reply to your message and keep getting an error - "Address not found" Your message wasn’t delivered to <email> because the address couldn’t be found. Check for typos or unnecessary spaces and try again.
    Please send me a message with a reply email. Thank you
  • Gee Bee: You would send the pictures here, that way everyone else can see them too. I don’t use my personal email on here. I can’t wait to see them...thanks...Gee
  • Monica: I don’t see an option to send the pictures on here. How do I send them?
  • Monica: The email message you replied to does not work for replies. I’ve tried 3 times and get the same error message.
    Oh well
  • Gee Bee: can someone in admin help out here...I loaded all the pics that stsrted this and others have loaded pics....contact admin and ask...sorry
  • Tico: Hi, I did send to this email some pics from the monumental floor lamp I have,but apparently you never got it, I’ll try again later to send the pics.
  • Tico: Monica, under the chart , where you post or add tour conments its another chart that says: Ask your question on the one have an option to attach photos,but only will give you the option if you start to type your question, then you can send photos, hope you can find it and send the pics !
  • Lennie Hulo: Hi , I have a bronze statue lamp of a woman holding a Lute with a gold plate on the base that says Improvisation . Is this a possible Moreau ?
  • Gee Bee: If it is a Moreau...which it could be it will have a signature which is usually at the bottom and it depends which brother did the sculpting....IF You can find the signature and take a picture we can help a little more....read more about the brothers. There is a blog here and all..Hope I can help...but without those markings I cannot say more...thanks for asking..Gee
  • Lennie Hulo: Thank you for replying back. I can not find a signature or Initials .Could it be on the underside of the base ?
    Have you heard of a statue with the title plate of
    Improvisation . There were originally two lamps.
    The other lamp was a man with a musical instrument but that one was lost in a move.
    Thanks again for your help. If you can think of any other site that might help me in my search I would truly appreciate it .
  • Gee Bee: Without a stamp or a signature I am afraid it is NOT Likely it is a Moreau. and if it is, it would be difficult to authenticate. The Moreaus were copied a great deal mostly due to their own process. and no it would not be on the base. I guess I should have asked if this thing is spelter or chalk...if it is chalk...it is almost positively not a Moreau.
    I have never heard of the Improvisation name...
    Ebay is one of the best sources for finding out how much a piece may be worth in real time...BUT remember the folks on Ebay are not really about the art they are about the money...lol...if that makes any sense..
    I searched Ebay just to see and got no where....There are photos on here of my sculpture and the signatures....maybe that might help you find them on yours....
    I know of no other way to help...I am sorry. Check Etsy and Pinterest as well...good luck in your search...
  • LENNIE HULO: Hi ,I dont know what spelter or chalk are.
    The figure is bronze with a wood base if that helps.
    Thank you for your help. You have been great.....
  • John P. Curtin: I have owned a Hippolyte Francois Moreau sculpture titled La Moqueuse since 1991 which somebodies else’s sculpture is called Young Beauty with a Hat. It is on an old wooden base covered in fancy maroon cloth which seems to make it a possible original because forgers use marble bases to make the sculpture look impressive. Two auction houses told me 5-6 years ago that it was spelter because it had green splotches on the patina from rain water hitting it. I’ve recently learned that spelter doesn’t turn green like that but that bronze turns green like that so maybe the auction houses were trying to deceive me so I would sell it to them directly for $200 and later they would auction it off for $3,500. There are so many tricky people in the world. The sculpture is bronze and heavy. It seems to have an authentic signature and now learning that the Moreau family sculptors were extremely prolific and did multiple editions of their work in different materials and did not issue Certificates Of Authenticity and treated their sculpture production as their business makes their sculpture one of the hardest to Authenticate.
  • Tico: Here I go again,this are the pics of this lamp.
  • Gee Bee: I don’t see any pics.....IF You can take a close up of the mark I can tell you...Spelter does turn green
  • Candelee Woodward Stone: I have a bronze moreau of girl on a swing..but...it’s signature is only signed using the last name..fake? I bought it at a auction house..
  • Gee Bee: Sounds like a nice piece....pictures would be important....please send a closeup of the signature IF you can.....I wold love to see it and not necessarily fake...IF there is another mark on there please send that as well....I make NO claims, but can maybe give you an idea
  • Sleeping little boy: We have a bronze sculpture of a lifesized sleeping child. It measures one meter twenty in length. It is signed: AUG MOREAU. It appears to be an outdoor piece. We’ll send photos.
  • Gee Bee: yes send photos
  • stephen: very helpful
    thanks you
  • Gee Bee: MOST welcome

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