Monument to Bonchamps, 1824
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
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).