Pair of Firedogs

one of pair of gilt bronze firedog, in which an eagle has its talon in creature beneath it

Pair of Firedogs, 1781
Pierre Gouthière (1732–1813)
Modeled by Philippe-Laurent Roland (1746–1816) after a design by François-Joseph Bélanger (1744–1818)
Gilt bronze
Mobilier National, Paris

Two renowned sculptors worked in collaboration with Gouthière on the fireplace for the large salon of the Duchess of Mazarin’s hôtel particulier on Quai Malaquais. For the firedogs, Philippe-Laurent Roland modeled the two eagles of Jupiter — with their wings outspread and each holding a thunderbolt and a salamander — before the groups were chased and gilded by Gouthière. For the chimneypiece (now lost), Jean-Joseph Foucou modeled the two large figures of satyresses, which were then chased and fully gilded by Gouthière. The proud and stern portrayal of the two eagles contrasted with the feminine characteristics of the chimneypiece. An eighteenth-century version of this chimneypiece with gilt and patinated bronze satyresses is now in the Fragonard Room at The Frick Collection.

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