Bronze

  • The Grand Condé, 1817
    Bronze
    35.6 x 17.5 x 14 cm
    Private collection

    Cat. 19

    In 1816, David received a commission for a statue commemorating the seventeenth-century French general known as the Grand Condé (1621–1683). In this, his first major state commission, David defied the conventional repose and heroic nudity of neoclassicism. Presenting a figure garbed in extravagant historical costume and engaged in dramatic action, The Grand Condé captures a pivotal episode when the general hurled his commander’s baton at the enemy before leading his troops forward to reclaim it. David depicts the instant immediately preceding the baton’s release, when the Condé coils like a spring. One contemporary viewer, David later recalled, likened the statue to a hurricane. This is one of two known bronze statuettes of the Condé. The colossal marble was destroyed in World War II.

  • Monument to Bonchamps, 1824
    Bronze 
    19.7 x 22.9 x 14 cm
    Inscribed on front of base, Grâce pour les prisonniers, Bonchamp le veut; on rear of base, Froment-Meurice ciseleur à son ami Wasselin Desfosses 14 Juin 1854 
    Collection Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schlossberg

    Cat. 20

    This statuette is a reduced version of David’s marble statue commemorating Charles-Artus de Bonchamps (1760– 1793), a royalist general who died in the aftermath of the French Revolution (Church of Saint Florent-le-Vieil, Maineet- Loire). A critical success at the Paris Salon of 1824, the sculpture depicts the mortally wounded general delivering his last words: a command for his troops to spare the lives of their Republican prisoners. The subject held personal significance for David, whose father had been among the captured soldiers. Produced by the famous Parisian goldsmith François-Désiré Froment- Meurice (1802–1855), the statuette was reportedly first commissioned in silver by the women of Anjou as a gift for Louise d’Artois, Duchess of Parma (1819–1864).

  • Jean-Antoine-Dominique Ingres, 1826
    Bronze, irregular edges
    9.7 cm diameter
    Collection Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schlossberg

    Cat. 21

  • François-Marius Granet, 1827
    Bronze
    12.8 cm diameter
    Collection W. Mark Brady, New York

    Cat. 22

  • Cecilia Odescalchi, ca. 1828
    Bronze
    15.5 cm diameter
    Inscribed, roma; dated, 1815; stamped on reverse, 349
    Private collection

    Cat. 23

    This idealized portrait medallion records the features of David’s first love, Cecilia Odescalchi, a young noblewoman he met while studying in Rome (1812–16). Their ill-fated relationship concluded abruptly with Cecilia’s removal to a convent, where she soon died. Although dated 1815, the portrait is adapted from a bas-relief made by the artist in 1828. Even in death, Cecilia remained David’s muse, and her likeness can be found in many of his sculptures, including the Christening Cup.

  • Eugène Delacroix, 1828
    Bronze
    10.5 cm diameter
    Foundry mark, Richard
    Private collection

    Cat. 24

  • Victor Hugo, 1828
    Bronze
    10.7 cm diameter
    Foundry mark, Eck et Durand
    Collection Frances Beatty and Allen Adler

    Cat. 25

    French poet, novelist, and dramatist (1802–1885)

  • Émile Deschamps, 1829
    Bronze
    12 cm diameter
    Collection Carol and Herbert Diamond

    Cat. 26

  • Alexandre Dumas, 1829
    Bronze
    15 cm diameter
    Foundry marks, Richard frères; Eck et Durand; stamped on reverse, 165
    Private collection

    Cat. 27

    French novelist (1802–1870)

  • Frédéric Louis Zacharie Werner, ca. 1830s
    Bronze
    15 cm diameter
    Private collection

    Cat. 28

    German dramatist and poet (1768–1823)

  • Théodore Géricault, 1830
    Bronze
    14.8 cm diameter
    Stamped on reverse, three illegible nos.
    Collection Wheelock Whitney III

    Cat. 29

    French painter (1791–1824)

  • Louise Swanton-Belloc, 1830
    Lead or pewter
    13 cm diameter
    Collection Dr. Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher

    Cat. 30

    French novelist (1796–1881)

  • Alfred de Musset, 1831
    Bronze
    15.9 cm diameter
    Collection Frances Beatty and Allen Adler

    Cat. 31

    French poet and playwright (1810–1857)

  • The Abbé de Lamennais, 1831
    Bronze
    Approximately 15.5 cm diameter
    Private collection

    Cat. 32

  • François Arago, 1832
    Bronze
    15 cm diameter
    Private collection

    Cat. 33

    French astronomer, mathematician, and politician (1786–1853)

  • Ludwig Tieck, 1834
    Bronze
    31.1 cm high
    Signed and dated; inscribed on front of base, L TIECK.
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;
    Gift of Joseph G. Reinis (1997.393)

    Cat. 34

    David made several international trips in order to meet and render homage to illustrious men and women. In 1834, during his second sojourn in Germany, he modeled a colossal portrait head of the poet and translator Ludwig Tieck (1773–1853). He also produced this depiction of the seated writer. David enjoyed conversing with his famous sitters, and Tieck is captured in the midst of a lively discussion. The intimate scale of the bronze and Tieck’s informal pose and contemporary costume combine to produce a thoroughly Romantic and modern “monument.” The only work David designed specifically as a statuette, it was cast in a very small bronze edition of three or four examples.

  • Caspar David Friedrich, 1834
    Bronze
    Approximately 17.7 cm diameter
    Foundry mark, Eck et Durand; stamped on reverse, 321
    Private collection 

    Cat. 35

    German painter (1774–1840)

  • Niccòlo Paganini, 1834
    Bronze
    15.6 cm diameter
    Collection Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schlossberg

    Cat. 36

    Italian musician and composer (1782–1840)

  • Christening Cup (after an 1835 model)
    Bronze
    18.3cm high
    Signed and dated, 1854; inscribed, patria
    Collection Pierre Bergé

    Cat. 37

  • Mélanie Waldor, 1835
    Bronze
    13.3 cm diameter
    Collection Dr. Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher

    Cat. 38

    French poet and novelist (1796–1871)

  • Philopoemen, 1837
    Bronze
    34.9 x 13.3 x 16.5 cm
    Foundry mark, Thiébaut Frères
    Collection Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schlossberg

    Cat. 39

  • Ambroise Paré, 1840
    Bronze
    47.7 x 20.7 x 17.1 cm
    Inscribed underneath base, 29; on base, AMBROISE PARÉ
    Foundry mark, F. Barbedienne 
    Collection Carol and Herbert Diamond

    Cat. 40

    “Gesture,” wrote David, “is the language of sculpture.” The sculptor’s maxim is well illustrated by this reduced bronze after his statue of Ambroise Paré, the famous French military doctor and pioneer of modern surgery. The challenge posed by the subject was to simultaneously communicate his qualities of action and thought. David’s elegant solution uses the expressive potential of the human body, creating a vibrant interplay between action and repose. With head bowed and the index finger of his right hand delicately raised to his chin and curling inward, Paré seems lost in contemplation. At the same time, his left hand hovers just above his surgical instruments, ready to seize them should the need arise.

  • Liberty, 1839
    Bronze
    23.8 cm high
    Signed and dated; inscribed on front of base, LIBERTÉ LIBERTÉ CHÉRIE / COMBATS AVEC TES DÉFENSEUR (LIBERTY, CHERISHED LIBERTY / FIGHT WITH YOUR DEFENDERS); stamped on base, 57
    Foundry mark, Thiébaut frères
    Collection Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schlossberg

    Cat. 41

    An outspoken Republican (for which he was arrested and exiled by Napoleon III), David produced many allegorical likenesses of Liberty. Both of these works envisage her as a militant figure, bearing a rifle and bayonet. In The Massacres of Galicia, Liberty also assumes the role of Clio, muse of history, vengefully inscribing the names of political villains on a gallows. Each work was designed for reproduction and broad distribution, like printed political tracts or religious icons. Of the statuette, David wrote: “I made it so it could be purchased by the people … Let us hope that one day we will see the image of Liberty in humble homes. She is a saint who well deserves the most fervent cult.”

  • The Four Sergeants of La Rochelle (uniface, obverse), ca. 1844
    Bronze
    8.9 cm diameter
    Private collection

    Cat. 42

  • The Four Sergeants of La Rochelle (uniface, reverse), ca. 1844
    Bronze
    8.9 cm diameter
    Private collection

    Cat. 43

  • Jean Bart, 1845
    Bronze
    41.8 x 22 x 14.5 cm
    Signed and dated, 1845; on base, JEAN BART.
    Foundry mark, Eck et Durand 
    Private collection

    Cat. 44

    This statuette is a reduced version of David’s gigantic, rousing bronze monument to Jean Bart (1650–1702), a French naval commander and privateer. Bart raises his sword (lost) as he tramples an enemy cannon at his feet. His sailor’s costume whips and curls in the wind, producing an energetic surface and delineating a human form that deviates from the idealized proportions of the classical nude body. David’s monuments were intended to educate and inspire and drew upon nationalism and local pride. The Jean Bart monument was erected in the privateer’s native Dunkirk, its inauguration on September 7, 1845, attended by a crowd of thousands. The statue continues to play a central role in that city’s annual civic rituals.

  • The Massacres of Galicia (obverse), 1846
    Bronze
    7.2 cm diameter
    Private collection

    Cat. 45

  • Rosa Bonheur, 1854
    Bronze
    17 cm diameter
    Private collection

    Cat. 46

    French painter (1822–1899)