Complete Checklist

  • Study after a Plaster Cast of the Apollo Belvedere, ca. 1814
    Black chalk on laid paper
    32 x 34.5 cm
    Signed and dedicated lower right in David’s hand, David à son ami Cuvier; inscribed lower left in a different hand, N. 87-1814
    Collection Louise Grunwald

    Cat. 1

    Long considered an exemplar of ideal classical beauty, the full-length ancient marble statue known as the Apollo Belvedere (Vatican Museums, Rome) was widely copied by early nineteenth-century art students. In this drawing, possibly a comment on the distance between the classical tradition and modern life, David shows only the face of the god, lying across the page like a fragmented artifact or death mask. Later, he would claim: “I prefer an ugly head that thinks profoundly to a head copied after the antique because [in the latter] the lines are so pure that it is petrified in its nullity.” Dedicated to the French zoologist Georges Cuvier (1769–1832), David’s Apollo recalls the fossils that were crucial for that scientist’s theories of animal life.

  • General Bonchamps Shown in a Pose Designed for His Tomb (recto), 1824
    Graphite, pen, and brown ink (recto); graphite (verso)
    21.4 x 28 cm 
    Signed lower right
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;
    Purchase, Karen B. Cohen Gift, 1989 (1989.286.1)

    Cat. 2

    A prolific draftsman, David often made multiple preliminary sketches for his sculptures. This schematic drawing outlines the composition of his Monument to Bonchamps (1824), a reduced bronze version of which is exhibited nearby. David references an ancient Greek sculpture of a river god from the recently discovered Elgin marbles (British Museum), which he had seen in London in 1816 (see below). He transforms that languidly reclining figure with the addition of a raised arm and a more upright orientation of the torso, a preview of the expressive urgency and instantaneity that characterize the finished statue.

     

     

  • Head of a Woman in Profile, ca. 1830s
    Graphite on paper
    20.6 x 15.8 cm 
    Estate stamp, lower left
    The Cleveland Museum of Art; Gift of the Painting and Drawing Society of The Cleveland Museum of Art (2000.40)

    Cat. 3

    This sensitive rendering is an amalgam of classicism and closely observed nature. Delicate hatching indicates the contours of the face, with a subtle emphasis on the outline of the profile — particularly the bridge of the nose and the slightly parted lips. This contrasts with the boldly marked strokes of the sitter’s hair, with its upward serpentine swirl continued by the curve of the hair comb. David valued profile views for their ability to quickly and accurately describe an individual. “The profile,” he wrote, “is unity.”

  • Portrait of A. W. von Schlegel, 1834
    Graphite on paper
    26 x 16 cm 
    Inscribed in David’s hand, A. W. von Schlegel / dessiné par David d’Angers à Bonn en [1840]
    New York Public Library; S. P. Avery Collection, The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints, and Photographs

    Cat. 4

    This precise likeness of the Romantic writer A. W. von Schlegel (1767–1845) was executed from life during David’s second trip to Germany in 1834. Particular care is taken with Schlegel’s profile, which would be the crucial element of the corresponding portrait medallion. According to the sculptor, his motives for making the portrait were “the brutal ingratitude of young Germans for the old man, and … the interest I have gained from reading his works on art.”

  • Study for a Tomb Relief for the Duchess d’Abrantès, 1841
    Graphite on papier calque laid on mulberry paper
    22.1 x 20 cm
    Signed, dated, and inscribed in brown ink at bottom in David’s hand, Projet de bas relief pour le monument de Mme. D’Abrantès.
    Collection Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schlossberg

    Cat. 5

    In the nineteenth century, the achievements of women were rarely acknowledged by public monuments. Shown here is David’s unexecuted design for a tomb relief commemorating Laure Junot, Duchess of Abrantès (1784–1838). The duchess, wife of a Napoleonic general and later Balzac’s lover, is shown writing her famous memoirs. Standing before her are Napoleon and a group of his generals, including her husband. David developed an original and expressive relief style. His bas-reliefs, as indicated by this drawing, focus on legibility and reject the elaborate perspectival conceits of painting. Sharply delineated and flattened figures, generally in profile, typically crowd the foreground of his compositions.

  • The Four Sergeants of La Rochelle, 1844
    Graphite on paper
    20 x 17.4 cm (sheet size)
    Private collection

    Cat. 6

  • Émile Deschamps, 1829
    Wax on slate
    13.3 x 12.1 cm
    Collection Carol and Herbert Diamond

    Cat. 7

  • Seated Woman, ca. 1830s
    Terracotta
    19 x 15.5 cm
    Collection Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schlossberg

    Cat. 8

    David had little patience for the eroticized mythological nudes that jostled for attention each year at the Paris Salon. Accordingly, this elegant terracotta sketch depicts a woman in modern dress, possibly interrupted in the act of reading. Yet this apparently everyday moment may also be an update of the centuries-old pictorial convention of seated muses. For David, terracotta sketches were important records of an artist’s first thoughts. He presented them only to close friends who he believed could appreciate their suggestive, unfinished qualities.

  • The Abbé de Lamennais, 1831
    Wax on slate
    16.5 x 14 cm
    Private collection

    Cat. 9

  • Pierre-René Choudieu, 1832
    Wax on slate
    14 x 12.4 cm
    Collection Dr. Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher

    Cat. 10

    “I pursue always my gallery of great men,” wrote David in 1830–31. “One sees me, running with my little slate, as if I were going to meet immortality.” The city of Angers was well known for its local slate quarries, and David used the stone as a support for his wax models. In this portrait of a Republican politician and prosecutor, the deep blue-green slate provides a lively contrast to the vibrant red of the tinted wax. David’s interest in portraiture reflects the dramatic increase in popularity of that genre in the early nineteenth century. For David, one of the most prolific portraitists of his age, the depiction of the human face was “the great career to which modern art is called.”

  • Christening Cup, 1835
    Wood, wax, and graphite
    18.9 cm high
    Collection Pierre Bergé

    Cat. 11

  • Model for the Philopoemen, 1837
    Terracotta
    31 x 10.5 x 10.3 cm 
    Inscribed in ink on base, à Victor Pavie
    Collection Roberta J. M. Olson and Alexander B. V. Johnson

    Cat. 12

  • La Douleur (Pain), 1811
    Plaster
    54 x 32 x 26 cm
    Dated front, lower right
    Collection Roberta J. M. Olson and Alexander B. V. Johnson

    Cat. 12

    This extraordinary bust won the 1811 tête d’expression (expressive head) competition at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Its originality lies in the artist’s conjunction of classical sculptural types with his close study of a posed, fashionably sidewhiskered model. La Douleur marks the beginning of David’s lifelong exploration of the relationship between ideal classical beauty and the fleshy reality of the living body. One of two casts made during his lifetime, the work retains the raised seams from its original molds. For modern viewers, these are a prized indicator of a plaster’s authenticity.

  • Victor Schnetz, 1828
    Plaster cast
    12 cm diameter
    Collection Dr. Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher

    Cat. 14

    French painter (1787–1870)

  • Robert David, 1834
    Patinated plaster
    23.5 cm diameter
    Collection Carol and Herbert Diamond

    Cat. 15

  • Christening Cup (after an 1835 model)
    Patinated plaster
    18.9 cm high
    Signed and dated, 1854; inscribed, patria
    Collection Roberta J. M. Olson and Alexander B. V. Johnson

    Cat. 16

  • Hélène David, 1838
    Plaster Inscribed and dedicated in David’s hand in ink on reverse, �� Victor Pavie
    26.7 cm diameter
    Collection Carol and Herbert Diamond

    Cat. 17

  • Ann Buchan Robinson, 1831
    Marble
    48.89 x 22.86 x 19.05 cm
    Signed and dated
    Museum of the City of New York;
    Gift of J. Philip Benkard II, 1958 (58.369.3)

    Cat. 18

    One of the first works by David to enter an American collection, this privately commissioned portrait depicts the wife of Captain Henry Robinson (1782–1866), who operated a shipping firm between New York and Le Havre. David executed comparatively few busts of women, none of which exhibit the expressive intellect of his portraits of men. The bust of Ann Robinson is as coolly contained as the marble from which she is carved. David relished the depiction of hair, and Robinson’s up-to-date coiffure, with its curvilinear movement and twin ovular protuberances, is a memorable architectural confection. 

  • 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)

  • Les Médaillons de David d’Angers
    (Paris: Ch. Lahure, 1867)
    Book, 447 albumen prints attributed to Étienne Carjat
    Private collection

    Cat. 47

     

  • Les Médaillons de David d’Angers. Collection de 125 Planches, accompagnée d’un portrait de David d’Angers, gravé d’après d’Hebert, et précédée d’une Préface par Émile-Soldi (Paris: A. Lévy, 1883)
    Book, 125 plates
    American Numismatic Society

    Cat. 48