68
68
Attributed to Joseph Charles Marin (1759-1834)
France, circa 1795
CERES
Estimate
30,00040,000
LOT SOLD. 35,000 EUR
JUMP TO LOT
68
Attributed to Joseph Charles Marin (1759-1834)
France, circa 1795
CERES
Estimate
30,00040,000
LOT SOLD. 35,000 EUR
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Excellence Française

|
Paris

Attributed to Joseph Charles Marin (1759-1834)
France, circa 1795
CERES

Exhibited

Paris, 1795 Salon, no. 1058 "Tête de Cérès, terre cuite".

Literature

Literature:
S. Lami, Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l'école française au dix-huitième siècle, 1911 (reed. 1970), pp. 108-111; P. Sanchez, Dictionnaire des artistes exposant dans les salons des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles à Paris et en province, 1673-1800, Dijon, 2004, p. 1140.

Related literature:
Joseph Charles Marin, exh. cat. Galerie Patrice Bellanger, Paris, 1992, p. 62; J. D. Draper, G. Scherf (dir.), L'esprit Créateur de Pigalle à Canova. Terres cuites européennes 1740-1840, exh. cat. musée du Louvre, 2003, pp. 150-151, no. 58. 

Catalogue Note

"Citizens, now is the time of year when the results of your talent are exhibited for the public to admire. Although the arts and their practitioners have suffered greatly, tyranny and vandalism has failed to extinguish them. The Republic still has consummate artists whom persecution has made dearer than ever before to the friends of the arts, and numerous supreme talents who promise to carry France's glory to great heights." This extract from a notice addressed to artists by the Commission d'Instruction Publique - manuscript of 7 Thermidor Year III (25th July 1795) - attests to the central role of the arts in a society in search of a new order (Bibliothèque nationale de France, ark:/12148/btv1b105237652?rk=85837;2).

At the 1795 Salon, Marin's bust of Cérès was a sign of the artistic changes taking place in France after the Reign of Terror, with a return to classical models that laid the foundations for Neoclassicism. This herm's meticulous construction and the goddess's stylised facial features are a marked contrast to the nymphs, bacchantes and other classical subjects in which Marin, like his master Clodion, had specialised until then. At a time when the country was rebuilding itself, he chose to sculpt an earth goddess as an allegory of abundance, of a fertile land on which a new society could be founded. Marin may have chosen iconography suited to the times but he did not entirely relinquish his delicate style. The traditionally severe classical style is softened by the highly ornamental crown of wheat and vines, the soft, wavy locks of hair and the goddess's seductively feminine breasts.

There are very few herms by Marin that we know of. As well as their unique classical construction, they are distinctively larger than his bacchantes or nymphs. One notable example is the herm Buste de Jeune Femme – signed, dated 1793 – sold by Sotheby's of London on 6th April 1995, lot 73 (height 43 cm). Another is the terracotta Cybèle in the Musée Cognacq-Jay, which is attributed to Marin and strikingly similar to our bust (inv. n° J 236 ; fig. 1). It is also a frontal view of another goddess of fertility - Cybèle. Her stylised features, the symmetry of her hair underscored by the two bunches of grapes hanging from her crown on either side of her face, and the straight fringe that covers her brow are all similar to the elements found in our terracotta bust.

Excellence Française

|
Paris