THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
A BRONZE FIGURE OF AMPHITRITE

Details
A BRONZE FIGURE OF AMPHITRITE
CAST AFTER A MODEL BY MICHEL ANGUIER, 18TH CENTURY

On an integrally cast rectangular base.
Dark brown patina with lighter brown highlights.
14 5/8in. (37.2cm.) high
Literature
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
I. Wardropper, Michael Anguier's Series of Bronze Gods and Goddesses: A Re-examination, Marsyas, XVIII, 1975, pp. 23-36, figs. 9, 13, 15.

Lot Essay

It is recorded in a late 17th century biography that Michel Anguier created a series of bronze statuettes of gods and goddesses in 1652. The text states that he created six figures, and then lists seven, including 'une Amphitrite tranquille', which is identifiable with the present model. In 1690 the bronzes were in the possession of Pierre le Tessier de Montarsis, 'joallier du roi', but they may well have been commissioned by his late father Laurent, who held the same office, and was an exceptionally important collector. As well as bronzes, drawings, and much else, the paintings in his possession included two Raphaels, the Bridgewater Madonna and the Washington St. George (Wardropper, op. cit., passim).
Of all Anguier's creations, the Amphitrite was to prove the most celebrated. In 1654 Anguier was commissioned by Nicholas Fouquet, Louis XIV's Finance Minister, to carve 14 life-size figures in limestone, including the Amphitrite. A marble version was made by Massé for the gardens of Versailles, and bronzes of various sizes, often paired with male gods, are known. The dolphin and the crayfish serve to identify the goddesses with her element, the sea.
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