New York, Park Avenue
22 May 1997
Jean Leon Gerome (French, 1824-1904)
Bonaparte entrant à Caire (Bonaparte entering Cairo)
inscribed 'J.L. GEROME' and 'SiOT FONDEUR PARiS' and stamped 'Z805'
16in. (41cm.) high, polychrome bronze
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Galerie Tanagra, Paris, Jean-Léon Gérôme 1824-1904, 1974, no. 15
G.M. Ackerman, The Life and Work of Jean-Léon Gérôme, London, 1986, pp. 322-323, no. S38
This depiction of the young Bonaparte, making his entry into Cairo was the first series of historical equestrian figures made by Gérôme during the late 1890's. It received a positive reaction from the public at the Salon of 1897 and was later purchased by the State for the Galerie du Luxembourg.
The significance of this sculptural group is underlined by the decision of the French government to purchase the original 53 centimeter high bronze for 10,000 francs, despite its standard prohibition against works made in multiples. At the time of the purchase Gérôme had already contracted with the fondeurs Siot - Decauville to produce the bronze in two sizes.
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