Saturday, 24 September 2016

A Reduced Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV Girardon, Louvre, Paris, and Engravings of the Original in the Place Vendome (Place Louis le Grand) and other versions.

A Reduced Copy of the Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV
by Francois Girardon (1628 - 1715).
The Original was set up in the  Place Vendome
( formerly Place Louis le Grand)  in 1699.
The original 17 metres tall. 
This signed Statuette is now in the Louvre, Paris.
Confiscated from the Royal Collection.
In 1685, Louis XIV's war minister, the marquis de Louvois, adopted a group of speculators' idea of creating a new square in Paris. The square was created by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, and in its center stood a bronze equestrian statue of Louis XIV by Girardon standing seven meters high (around seventeen meters with the pedestal). This square was later to become the Place Vendôme.

To please Louis XIV, the Duc de La Feuillade had proposed the erection of a monumental full-scale statue of the king, commissioned from the sculptor Martin Desjardins. To provide a setting for the work, he redeveloped the Place des Victoires, which celebrated the king's victories in the Dutch war ending in the peace treaty of Nijmegen (1679).
This initiative was followed up in 1685 by the Marquis de Louvois, the war minister under Louis XIV, who persuaded the king to create a "Place des Conquêtes" on the site of the Hôtel de Vendôme. Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the architect behind the Place des Victoires and who had just designed the Château and Orangerie at Versailles, was responsible for the design of this square. To surpass the rival square in magnificence, an equestrian statue was to be erected, commissioned from an even more prestigious sculptor than Desjardins: François Girardon, to be cast in one piece by Baltazar Keller.
In 1792, Girardon's sculpture was destroyed. The piece in the Louvre is the only signed reduced version of the work.
'Aujourd'hui plusieurs versions du XVIIIème siècle sont connues ; mentionnons particulièrement celles conservées au Musée du Louvre, au château de Vaux-le- Vicomte, au Musée de l'Hermitage de Saint-Pétersbourg, à la Wallace Collection de Londres, au Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York ; enfin citons un exemplaire, portant la marque du C couronné, acquis par George IV à Paris en 1817 et faisant partie des collections royales anglaises'

Size 1.02 m; W. 0.98 m; D. 0.50 m
These photographs and text lifted from -
Reduced Bronze Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV.
in the Royal Collection.
The base lacks the shield shown in the above models but this version accords with the mid 18th Century engraving after Lesueur by Pierre Francois Tardieur (1711 - 71) shown below.
105.5 x 92.0 x 50.0 cm
Equestrian statue of Louis XIV in Roman armour, on a rectangular naturalistic base with canted corners. The statue is mounted on an ebony-veneered pedestal with gilt bronze mounts ordered from the firm of Thomire et Cie. in 1826. The sides of the pedestal are set with framed reliefs after compositions by Adam Frans van der Meulen (1632-1690) of Louis XIV Crossing the Rhine (11 June 1672), and the Capture of Valenciennes, (16 March 1677). Martial trophies are applied to the ends of the pedestal, and at the four corners are figures of Virtues.
This is a cast from the small-scale model prepared by Francois Girardon for the colossal statue which was cast in a single pour by Balthasar Keller in 1692 and installed in the Place Louis-le-Grand (Place Vendome) in Paris in 1699. The statue was destroyed in 1792. Several examples of the small version are known, some of which were cast at the time of the project and others later.
This example is thought to have been cast by Jean Le Pileur in around 1696 and given by the King to the marquis de Phelypeaux, Chancelier de Pontchartrain (1643-1727). Exhibition catalogue 'Cast in Bronze: French sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution' (Paris, New York and Los Angeles, 2008-9), no. 91B
Thought to have been given by Louis XIV to Louis, marquis de Phelypeaux, Chancelier de Ponchartrain; sold 1747 (marked in several places with the crowned 'C' stamp); De la Haye collection; sold December 1 1774, no. 74; bought for George IV in Paris in 1817 by François Benois, his pastry cook and agent, for 360 livres.
 In the Third Room of the Armoury at Carlton House. Delivered to Morel & Seddon for restoration in 1828 prior to delivery to the Large Dining Room (now the State Dining Room) at Windsor Castle.
This information and the photographs lifted from the Royal Collection website
The only fragment of the original statue to have survived after 1792.
The left foot.
Now in the Louvre.
The Bronze Statue of Louis XIV in this engraving of the Girardon Gallery would appear to be the version without the shield on the ground as shown in the engraving above.
Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV
by Girardon
Pedestal by Slotz
Le Galerie de Girardon
Engraving by Nicolas Chevalier after Rene Charpentier
Met Museum. New York.
This represents the smaller version of the Place Vendome equestrian statue and is the statue installed in front of the Chateau du Boufflers in Beauvais, cast in 1694 at the request of Marechal de Boufflers and unveiled on 4th September 1701 (10 pieds tall).
see Souchal French Sculptors ....vol 2, 1981.
 Hubert Robert
Grande Gallery at the Louvre during restoration.
This shows the reduced version on its original stand
painted 1796 - 99.
The Wax Macquette of the Equestruian Statue of Louis XIV.
possibly by Girardon
A wax Macquette of the equestrian statue of Louis XIV by Francois Girardon.
 ca. 1685
Wax and wood
81.3 x 29.2 x 59.7 cm (32 x 11 1/2 x 23 1/2 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James W. Fosburgh, B.A. 1933, M.A. 1935
Images Courtesy Yale University
with grateful thanks
British Museum.
Another version in the Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri.
size - 109,2 x 111,7 x 80 cms.
Equestrian statue of Louis XIV; horse moving to r, Louis XIV facing r, seated holding reins with l hand and pointing behind with outstretched r arm Pen and black ink, with grey wash, over red chalk
Drawing by Pierre Le Pautre
405 x 257 mm.
British Museum.
The engraving below from -
Superficially the engraving above appears to be a version of the drawing but there are many differences including the details on the cuirasse and the tail as well as the obvious differences of the base.
Image result for rené-antoine houasse statue equestre louis xiv
Rene Antoine Houasse.
Musee Carnavelet, Paris

 Perspective view of place Louis le Grand (now place Vendôme): square lined with buildings, with equestrian statue of the King in the middle  Etching
Lettered with production detail: 'J. Rigaud Invenit et Sculp.', publication address and date: 'chez Rigaud Ruë St Jacques vis à vis la ruë des Maturins à Paris 1752', and title -1752
British Museum.
mains de peintre 062
Image result for La Place Vendome Paris gravure
Image result for vue La Place Vendome Paris gravure
Mid 18th Century Drawing by Cochin
Image result for Girardon Louvre Gallery
This version formerly at Versailles now in the Louvre.
No size given but again it appears to be a version of the cast without the shield on the base as illustrated in the Lesueur engraving above.
A 19th Century version from Houghton in Norfolk.
Lot 21, Christie's, 8 December 1994.
111 x 86 x 36 cms.
 The Houghton Statuette appears again at Sotheby's New York
Lot 13 - 24 May 2007.
A further provenance is given - it was in the possession of Sir Philip Sassoon Bt. at 25 Park Lane and recorded in two inventories of pre 1927 and 1939

Charles Yriarte, Catalogue de l’Exposition de l’art français sous Louis XIV et sous Louis XV. (L’hôtel Chimay, annexe de l’École des beaux-arts.) Au profit de l’Œuvre de l’hospitalité de nuit. Précédé d’une introduction par M. Ch. Yriarte, exh. cat. (Paris: École des Beaux-Arts, 1888), 36, no. 75.
Stanislas Lami, Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l’école française sous le règne de Louis XIV (Paris: Honoré Champion, 1906), 213.
Ulrich Thieme, Felix Becker, and Wilhelm Suida, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler (Leipzig, Germany: E.A. Seemann, 1921), 167–69.
Pierre Francastel, Girardon: Biographie et catalogue critiques. L’oeuvre complète de l’artiste reproduite en 93 héliogravures (Paris: Nogent-le-Rotrou, 1928), 55.
Galerie George Petit, Paris, Catalogue des objets d’art et d’ameublement principalement du XVIII siecle: tableaux anciens…Dessins Anciens et Moderns…Porcelaines de la Chine; Porcelaines de Sèvres, pâte tendre et da Saxe Bronzes - Objets variés…sculptures..sieges et meubles, sale cat. (December 1, 1930).
 Galerie Jean Charpentier, Paris, Catalogue des tableaux anciens, dessins et aquarelles anciens, tableaux et gouaches modernes, bronzes de Barye, tre`s belles gravures anciennes, objets d’art et d’ameublement composant la collection du President Charles d’Heucqueville et dont la vente…, sale cat. (March 1936), 86, pl. XXXIII.
John Canaday, “Art: Acquisitions of Yale Gallery,” New York Times (January 10, 1961), ill.
 “La publication intégrale de l’inventaire des tableaux de Charles Ier (1639) par la Walpole Society,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts (1961): no. 10.
Donald Posner and Julius Held, 17th and 18th Century Art: Baroque Painting, Sculpture, Architecture (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1971), 170, fig. 176.
Katherine Neilson and Andrew Carnduff Ritchie, Selected Paintings and Sculpture from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972), no. 123, ill.
Michel Martin, Les monuments équestres de Louis XIV : une grande entreprise de propagande monarchique (Paris: Picard, 1986), 92–117, fig. 40, 41.
Peter Burke, The Fabrication of Louis XIV (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992), 92–93, fig. 35.
François Souchal, French Sculptors of the 17th and 18th centuries: The reign of Louis XIV/Illustrated catalogue, supplementary volume A-Z (London: Faber and Faber, 1993), 108–111, no. 65, ill.
also see -
Collectif, Bronzes français de la Renaissance au Siècle des Lumières, catalogue d'exposition, Paris, Musée du Louvre du 22 octobre 2008 au 19 janvier 2009, éd. Somogy, Paris, 2008
Robert Wenley, French Bronzes in the Wallace Collection, éd. The Trustees of the Wallace Collection, Londres, 2002
Not particularly relevant here but included as a matter of interest - two more of the engravings of the Gallerie Girardon.

Destruction of the statues of Louis XVI by Girardon in la place Vendôme and of Louis XIV by Desjardins in Place des Victoires.

Musee du Louvre, Paris.
Jacques Bertaux (c.1745 - 1818).
Note the left foot about to be rescued by the onlooker pointing to it on the left.
Louvre, Paris
The End.

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