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    Sale 7816

    Le Grand Goût - A Private European Collection

    17 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 41

    A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI WHITE MARBLE FIGURAL GROUPS OF VENUS AND CUPID

    LATE 18TH CENTURY, ATTRIBUTED TO ETIENNE-MAURICE FALCONET AND HIS ATELIER

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF LOUIS XVI WHITE MARBLE FIGURAL GROUPS OF VENUS AND CUPID
    LATE 18TH CENTURY, ATTRIBUTED TO ETIENNE-MAURICE FALCONET AND HIS ATELIER
    Each on an ormolu-mounted truncated fluted columnar base and shaped square plinth
    18 in. (46 cm.) high (2)


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    These beautifully-carved white marble groups of Venus and Cupid were almost certainly executed in the atelier of Etienne-Maurice Falconet circa 1760, with exquisite ormolu and white marble bases added around 1775. The attribution to Falconet is based on three stylistically very similar groups: 'Venus imploreée par l'Amour', a terracotta signed and dated 1754; 'Venus enchainait l'Amour', a marble signed and dated 1760, and finally another virtually identical example signed and dated 1763 (L. Réau, Falconet, Paris, 1922, p. 237). These three pieces allow an attribution to Falconet and dating to the period 1754-63, when he was head of the sculpture workshops at the Sèvres porcelain manufactory; interestingly similar examples also exist in Sèvres white biscuit porcelain. Patronized by Madame de Pompadour, who recommended him for the position at Sèvres, Falconet's documented oeuvre demonstrates his talent for delicate figural groups with complicated postures and tender expressions rendered in carefully-chosen fine white unveined marble, for which he became highly esteemed in the second half of the 18th Century.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Acquired from Didier Aaron, Paris, circa 1992.