36
36
François Girardon (1628-1715)
French, circa 1690-1700
BUST OF KING LOUIS XIV OF FRANCE AND NAVARRE
Estimate
15,00025,000
LOT SOLD. 40,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
36
François Girardon (1628-1715)
French, circa 1690-1700
BUST OF KING LOUIS XIV OF FRANCE AND NAVARRE
Estimate
15,00025,000
LOT SOLD. 40,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Defining Taste
Works selected by Danny Katz

|
London

François Girardon (1628-1715)
French, circa 1690-1700
BUST OF KING LOUIS XIV OF FRANCE AND NAVARRE
stamped with the C-couronné hallmark
bronze, on a carved, painted and ebonised wood socle and base
bronze: 15.5cm., 6 1/8 in.
base and socle: 9.6cm., 3 3/4 in.
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Provenance

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, Paris

Catalogue Note

The present bronze is of the same dimensions as the head of the bronze portrait of Louis XIV on horseback in the Prado, Madrid, but seems to show a slightly more aged King. Since the Sun King is thought to have shaved off his moustache around 1690 (see Maumené/ d'Harcourt, op.cit.), this portrait of the king was probably modelled in the 1690s, when the king was in his fifties.

The young Girardon studied in Rome at the expense of Louis XIV's chancellor Séguier and worked in the Paris studio of the Anguier family from about 1650. His talents and his early association with Charles Le Brun, future First Painter to the King, led to his rapid rise to pre-eminence. He worked with Le Brun at the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, where the opulent classicism that found its finest expression at Versailles was first developed. From the 1660s onwards Girardon contributed major works to the gardens and palace at Versailles. His later works, such as the magnificent equestrian statue of Louis XIV (1685–92; destroyed) for what is now the Place Vendôme in Paris, continue the trend towards a more dynamic concept of sculpture. Girardon was also a notable collector of sculpture.

During the reign of Louis XV, many bronzes were stamped with a hallmark made of a crown placed above the letter C. This relates to a tax imposed in 1745 on objects made of bronze and copper. The edict of that year specified that both old and new bronzes should be checked and marked. The tax was suspended in 1749.

RELATED LITERATURE
C. Maumené and L. d’Harcourt, ‘Iconographie des rois de France. II. Louis XIV, Louis V, Louis XVI’, Archives de l’art français, XVI, 1931, p. 17; M. Martin, Les Monuments équestres de Louis XIV, Paris, 1986, p. 115, no. 62

Defining Taste
Works selected by Danny Katz

|
London