A comparable work by Stetten, The Image Seller (1887, whereabouts unknown), was included in the collection of George I. Seney and described as “An Italian vender of plaster images has set his wares up for sale on one of the bridges crossing the Seine. A portion of his stock is displayed on the balustrade against which he leans. His extra supply is packed in a wicker basket… a steamboat, passing on the river, is seen through the balustrade, and in the distance the towers of the Trocadero are outlined against the gray sky of a Parisian autumn or spring” (Mr. George I. Seney’s Important Collection of Modern Paintings, American Art Galleries, New York, February 11, 12 and 13, lot 254).
The two smock-clad artisans pictured on the banks of the Seine are surely mouleurs de plâtres, selling plaster casts of well-known sculptures. At left there is a cast of a Tanagra terracotta figure; to the right is a large plaster cast after the bronze statue Narcissus from the Naples National Museum, and at the far right is a cast of Jean-Antoine Houdon’s Winter, 1787.
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