MEISSONIER Ernest (1815-1891). "General Duroc... - Lot 366 - Herbette

Lot 366
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MEISSONIER Ernest (1815-1891). "General Duroc... - Lot 366 - Herbette
MEISSONIER Ernest (1815-1891). "General Duroc at Castiglione in 1796". Bronze with brown patina. Copper stamp showing Meissonier's profile by Chaplain and his initials on the terrace and annotated: "Duroc, Campagne d'Italie 1796 Castiglione Dernière maquette de mon mari Xbre 1890, Mort samedi 31 janvier 1891 Paris". Signed "Vve EMeissonier 1893. H: 54.5 cm W: 54.7 cm D: 16.5 cm. Literature: On Meissonier's death, his widow obtained 6 wax sculptures (shared with the children and his second wife), which she entrusted directly to the founder Pierre Bingen. This was the last sculpture modeled by the artist before his death in December 1890. In fact, she took the precaution of having the date and circumstances of their execution in bronze indicated on each one. The horse's gallop is suspended, and time with it. In the saddle, General Duroc, Duke of Frioul, future Senator and Grand Marshal of the Palace of Emperor Napoleon I, gallops covered in glory, wearing his bicorne and military uniform. This high-quality Bingen sand cast depicts him in Castiglione, Italy, in 1796, when the armies of the First Republic were fighting under the command of Generals Augereau, Masséna and Bonaparte. During this campaign, Duroc distinguished himself in battle and was seriously wounded. On horseback, the talented young officer showed great courage at the Battle of Castiglione. Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier chose to depict this moment of suspension, sculpting the animal's frozen movement into an energetic levitation (a contemporary of Edward Muybridge, with whom he shared his photographic work on decomposing the movement of a horse's gallop from 1870). Born in 1815, in the twilight of the First Empire, Meissonier painted many canvases with Napoleonic references, such as the famous '1814, la Campagne de France : Napoléon et son état-major derrière lui'. However, it is a bronze work that the artist is presenting here, an equestrian work whose particularity lies in the attitude of the horse, represented suspending its gait above the ground. The same singularity can be observed in the study for the painting 'Le Matin de Castiglione'l , a composition by the artist depicting Duroc on horseback among several generals. It was the modeling of this bronze that served as the model for Duroc's depiction in this famous painting. This way of painting the horse differs from the usual depiction of the animal at full gallop, with the forelegs and hindlegs stretched out C in this common presentation of the gait. An equestrian painter and sculptor as well as a horseman, Meissonier was constantly surrounded by horses, which were omnipresent in his life, even in the courtyard of his Paris hotel. He knew everything about them, and Edgard Degas, despite his animosity towards Meissonier, called him "one of the most knowledgeable men about horses I have ever known". Public collections: - Musée d'Orsay - Paris - France (bronze example cast by Pierre Bingen and plastiline example) Bibliography: - Ernest Meissonier exhibition catalog, Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 1993. Exhibitions: - Galerie Georges Petit, March 1893, - Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier 1851-1891 Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts - France, Paris, April 1893, n°71 Chicago - Etats-unis, 1893 n°688 San-Francisco - Etats-unis, 1915 n°90 Musée Carnavalet - Paris, France, 1939 n°1574 Bronzes "De la Renaissance à Rodin" : Masterpieces from the Musée du Louvre - Metropolitan Art Museum - Japan, Tokyo, 1988, n°71 Rétrospective Ernest Meissonier - musée des Beaux-Arts - France, Lyon, 1993, p.14. Ernest Meissonier, peintre d'histoire (1815-1891). Un certain regard - prieuré royal Saint-Louis - France, Poissy, 2015, p.85. Fin de siècle effervescence. Artists from Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in Paris (1884-1914) - musée Paul Dini - France, Villefranche-sur-Saône, 2017-2018, n°109. Related works:Exemplaire du Musée d'Orsay exposé en 1893 lors de l'exposition : Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier 1851-1891 - Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts - France, Paris, n°71
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