14 December 1999
A BRONZE BUST OF MARIE DE MEDICI
WORKSHOP OF BARTHLEMY PRIEUR (1536-1611), EARLY 17TH CENTURY
On an integrally cast circular socle.
Dark brown patina with medium brown high areas.
10 in. (26 cm.) high
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New York, M. Knoedler & Co., The French Bronze 1500-1800, 1968, no. 10.
H. R. Weihrauch, Europische Bronzestatuetten 15. - 18. Jahrhundert, Brunswick, 1967, fig. 478, p. 395.
The present bust of Marie de Medici is of a type often paired with that of her husband Henri IV and executed in numerous versions. They commonly show Henri IV either nude or wearing a cuirass and the Queen in a classical dress (see lot 69) or in the elaborate court costume of the present piece.
It is known that Prieur worked in collaboration with his son-in-law, Guillaume Dupr (circa 1574-1647) and a pair of busts exhibited in 1968 (The French Bronze, loc. cit.) are assigned to the circle of Dupr and Prieur, circa 1600. The present bronze is particularly sensitive in its handling and of fine quality, pointing to an artist working close to Prieur displays a beautiful, and highly characteristic, patina of early 17th century France.
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