Reclining Venus

Probably commissioned by Fran��ois Girardon (Troyes 1628–1715 Paris)
Reclining Venus
1699–1709
Bronze cast after a terracotta model attributed to Thibault Poissant (1605–1668)
Original carved gilt-wood base attributed to Gilles-Marie Oppenord (1672–1742)
9 3/8 x 9 1/4 x 16 3/4 in. (24 x 23.5 x 42.5 cm)

 

Reclining on their original gilt-wood couches, the Reclining Venus and Sleeping Hermaphrodite are intact examples that preserve the sumptuous character of statuettes made during the reign of Louis XIV. The figures were displayed as a pair. When viewed from the back, each appears female. When viewed from the front, the hermaphrodite’s dual male and female nature is revealed. The languorous beauty of the dreaming figures seduces and deceives. Grinning masks at the feet of their golden beds are emblems of duplicity.