- Marius-Jean-Antonin Mercié
- La toilette de diane
- signed: a. mercié and stamped: TIFFANY & Co with the: THIEBAUT FRÈRES / FONDEURS / PARIS pastille and the interiors of the three sections of the column each inscribed: 17
bronze, warm to mid-brown patina on a serpentine column
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Marius-Jean-Antonin Mercié was one of the most celebrated sculptors of his generation. His masterpieces David après le combat and Gloria Victis were huge commercial successes, cast in numerous editions, and they remain emblematic of French 19th century sculpture. In La Toilette de Diane Mercié exhibits a more lyrical and pensive mood. The falling drapery reveals the goddess' beautiful form as she languidly stretches her arms up to arrange her hair. The original marble version for the model was shown at the Paris Salon in 1891. In contrast to the better-known David and Gloria Victis, the work was edited in very small numbers and the present bronze is exceedingly rare.
S. Lami, Dictionaire des sculpteurs de l'école française, Paris, 1919, vol III, p. 434; P. Fusco and H. Janson, The Romantics to Rodin, exh. cat. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1980, pp. 303-6