116
116
Italian or French, circa 1777-1781
,
THE MUSE ERATO
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 231,250 EUR
JUMP TO LOT
116
Italian or French, circa 1777-1781
,
THE MUSE ERATO
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 231,250 EUR
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Tableaux, Sculptures et Dessins Anciens et du XIXe siècle

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Paris

Italian or French, circa 1777-1781
,
THE MUSE ERATO
marble
engraved with the inscription: DICTA HERATO BLANDOS FIDIBUS QUAE LUDIT AMORES
H. 148 cm; 58 1/3 in.
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Provenance

Probably Château of Bagatelle, Paris;
Maurice de Wendel (1879-1961), acquired for his private palace 28 avenue de New York, Paris, circa 1920;
thence by family descent to the present owner.

Literature

RELATED LITERATURE
J.-J. Gautier, « L'Art des sculpteurs de Bagatelle », in L'Estampille – L'Objet d'Art, no. 252, November 1991, pp. 64-83.

Catalogue Note

Daughter of Mnemosyne and Zeus, Erato was, according to Greek mythology, one of the nine Muses, these of lyrical and erotic poetry. She is represented crowned with roses and myrtle and holding a lyre or a small kithara. Her name, associated to Eros, means "desired" or "lovable". She is often accompanied by the god of Love holding a torch, in reference to the Orphic hymn to the Muses describing Erato as the muse who charms the sight.

Erato was at the foot of the grand stairway of the mansion house Sourdeval-Demachy, the Parisian residence of Maurice de Wendel acquired in 1910 (fig. 1). According to Maurice de Wendel's records, Erato was said to come from Bagatelle, the Count of Artois' pleasure residence built in 1777 by François-Joseph Bélanger. Cleared from its furnishing and sold for the first time in 1836 to the Marquis of Hertford, Bagatelle was continuously refurbished and altered by its successive owners, among whom Richard Wallace, including the dispersion of his statuary. Thus, ten sculptures and two stone sphinxes were acquired circa 1900 by a Parisian notary for his Château of Bonnemare (Eure). According to the incomplete account books of Bagatelle, some of the sculptures were carved by French sculptors, in particular by Nicolas-François-Daniel Lhuillier - who subcontracted to Philippe-Laurent Roland -, Louis Auger, Daniel Aubert, Mézière and Simon Seindit. They were mainly made of Conflans limestone, whereas the other sculptures of Bagatelle, carved by Italian sculptors and imported from Carrara by the Knight Trouard de Riolle, general controller of the King's marbles, were made of marble.

The Carrara white marble which the present Erato is made of tends to confirm an Italian origin. The marble could also have been carved by a French sculptor, such as Jean-Joseph Foucou (1739-1815) to whom it was previously attributed, or a Franco-Italian sculptor such as Agostino Bocciardi (1719 -1797) whose name also appears in the accounts of Bagatelle.

Tableaux, Sculptures et Dessins Anciens et du XIXe siècle

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Paris