13 June 2002
A BRONZE GROUP OF WRESTLING WOMEN
Attributed to Barthélemy Prieur (1536-1611), 17th century
On a modern rectangular ebonised wood base and a paper label inscribed '#21 4-8-'98'.
Dark brown patina with warm brown high points.
8¼ in. (21 cm.) high
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J. G. Mann, Wallace Collection Catalogues - Sculpture, London, 1931, p. 49, no. S130, pl. 35.
E. Grünenwald, Leonard Kern - Ein Bildhauer des Barock, Schwäbisch Hall, 1969, pp. 47-48, no. 121, pl. 25.
A series of so-called 'genre' bronzes, previously said to be by the Master of the Genre Figures, are now attributed to the French sculptor Barthélemy Prieur. The composition of two wrestling women is said to belong to this particular group, of which several examples exist, most notably one in the Wallace collection, London (Mann, loc. cit.) and a further version sold in these Rooms on 12 December 1996, lot 106. Within 50 years of Prieur composing the original model, Leonard Kern produced a virtually identical group in ivory now housed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (see Grünenwald, loc. cit).
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Decorative and dangerous, the most impressive group of courtly quality weapons to come to auction in well over a generation
This month, Christie’s offers one of the American artist’s large-scale works. In October, she will tackle the monumental proportions of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall