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A FRENCH SILVERED BRONZE GROUP OF LEDA AND THE SWAN, cast from a model by Jean-Jacques Feuchère, the two locked in amorous embrace, Leda with her head thrown back, the swan arching his neck towards her, mid 19th Century

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A FRENCH SILVERED BRONZE GROUP OF LEDA AND THE SWAN, cast from a model by Jean-Jacques Feuchère, the two locked in amorous embrace, Leda with her head thrown back, the swan arching his neck towards her, mid 19th Century
7 x 9in. (18 x 23cm.)
Literature
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
Los Angeles, County Museum, The Romantics to Rodin, 1980, pp. 321-2, no. 184
H. Hawley, Some Intimate Sculptures of Feuchère, in The Bulletin of The Cleveland Museum of Art, March 1981, pp.75-83

Lot Essay

Jean-Jacques Feuchère (1807-1852) was primarily a self-taught sculptor, though he also trained under his ciseleur father Jacques-François. He is better known for his large scale sculpture, though it is now apparent that he produced a series of small and charming intimate groups, probably for private patrons (cf. Hawley, op. cit.).
The Leda and the Swan is one such example, two others being An Amazon Taming a Horse and the Venus and Cupid, both dating from the 1840's, and an example of each being in the Cleveland Museum of Art. Unsigned versions of the Leda are known, and for this reason the model has been attributed to Pradier in the past. However, as Henry Hawley has shown, and with the benefit of a version signed by Feuchère, the group has been re-instated to its correct artist.
Like the Venus and Cupid the present model reveals a sensuous conception and cohesive composition, the present subject lending itself to a more explicitly erotic interpretation. Feuchère has further indicated the passion of Leda and her celestial seducer by details such as her firmly shut eyes, parted lips and curled toes. A silvered bronze version of this group was included in the exhibition The Romantics to Rodin ( op. cit.), and it is clear by the high quality of the chiselling and finish, that these were produced as a luxury edition by the lost-wax process and probably under the supervision of Feuchère. A great collector himself, Feuchère here reveals his debt to the 18th century works of Clodion and his followers, particularly in the choice of erotic subject matter, and in the private collector's dimensions.
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