19th Century Verdigris Bronze Sculpture of Diana the Huntress After Jean-Antoine Houdon
A very nice large 19th century bronze sculpture of Diana the huntress with a very beautiful verdigris patina surface. Made after the famous sculpture by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828). This sculpture is signed “F. Barbedienne Paris”.
Born on August 6th of 1810 FERDINAND BARBEDIENNE would go on from his small village in Calvados, France to build one of the most important bronze foundries in France. In 1822 he apprenticed to a Parisian papermaker and by 1834, Barbedienne was a successful manufacturer of wallpaper. In 1838, he changed careers entirely when he partnered with Achille Collas, inventor of a groundbreaking machine that would allow bronze sculptures to be reduced in size efficiently while maintaining exacting scale and detail. The cachet of A. Collas Reduction Mechanique would become almost synonymous with the Barbedienne foundry, as the marking appears on nearly every work they produced. They would call their firm “Collas & Barbedienne” and the two began selling smaller versions of the great historical works of art, copied from museums and cherished by the “Grand Tour” patrons looking to bring a piece of antiquity into their homes. By 1851 the firm was simply known as Barbedienne and they exhibited extensively at every World Fair, receiving numerous medals at these international exhibitions, including the Gold Medal in 1855 and medals in three different classes at London’s 1862 International Exhibition. Barbedienne died in 1892. The foundry continued operation through 1952.
DIANA was the Roman goddess of the hunt, unspoiled nature and the animals that inhabited it. Shunning the company of mortals and gods, Diana preferred the solitude of the forests and kept the company of nymphs and woodland creatures. A master of the bow, Diana was the greatest of all hunters. A maiden for all her days, she preserved her virginity despite the advances of potential lovers and suitors. Diana was also associated with the underworld and liminal zones—the boundaries separating the living from the dead and the wild from the civilized. Though she was a Roman goddess, much of Diana’s mythology and personality originated elsewhere. Diana was heavily based on Artemis, the Greek goddess of hunting and nature.
In Roman religion, Diana was known as Diana Triformis, or a goddess of three aspects: the hunt, the moon, and the underworld. Adored by males and females alike, Diana was seen as a patron of hunters and protector of virgins. She was the daughter of Jupiter, who was king of the gods, and Leto or also Latona, an ancient Titan. Her twin brother was Apollo, a deity associated with wisdom, rationality, and the order of law. Diana had a huge number of half brothers and sisters; these included Mars, the god of war, Vulcan, the god of the forge, and Juventus, a god of youth and adolescence.
Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) was a French sculptor whose religious and mythological works are definitive expressions of the 18th-century Rococo style of sculpture. Elements of classicism and naturalism are also evident in his work, and the vividness with which he expressed both physiognomy and character places him among history’s greatest portrait sculptors.
The most celebrated of Houdon’s mythological works is his supple and elegant statue of Diana, first shown in 1777.
Dimensions: Height 80.0 cm (31.5 inches) x Width 51.0 cm (20.1 inches) x Depth 38.0 cm (15.0 inches)
Price: 42 000 SEK (/)
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