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Pair French 19th/20th Century Gilt-Bronze Sculptures of The Marly Horses Lamps

About the Item

A Fine Pair of French 19th/20th Century Gilt-Bronze Sculptures of "The Marly Horses" (Now turned into lamps) After the original by Guillaume Coustou (French, 1677-1746). The large pair of equestrian bronze sculptures, finished in a gold patina, each depicting rearing horses with their groom, both raised on oval a black slate and Bardiglio marble bases and fitted with modern electrical twin-light brass fittings and cream colored shades. The base on an ebonized wooden platform. Circa: Paris, 1900-1920. Sculpture & Base Height: 31 1/4 inches (79.8 cm) Base Width: 21 3/4 inches (55.3 cm) Base Depth: 12 3/4 inches (32.4 cm) Height to top of (Adjustable) shade fitting: 48 1/4 inches (122.6 cm) Shade Height: 15 inches (38.1 cm) Shade Width: 26 inches (66.1 cm) Shade Depth: 20 inches (50.8 cm) The original Marly Horses are two 1743–1745 Carrara marble sculpted groups by Guillaume Coustou. They were commissioned by Louis XV of France for the trough at the entrance to the grounds of his château de Marly. Coustou's last works, they were intended to replace two other sculpted groups, Mercury on Pegasus and Pegasus, Renown of Horses, both by Antoine Coysevox, which had been removed to the Tuileries Gardens in 1719. Louis XV chose the modellos in 1743 and the full-size sculptures were completed in only two years, being installed at Marly in 1745. They proved highly successful in reproduction, particularly on a smaller scale, and prefigured Théodore Géricault and other Romantic artists' obsession with equestrian subjects. The Marly horses were later also used as the central motif of the monochrome 819-line RTF/ORTF test card which was used on TF1 from 1953 until 1983. The originals were moved to the place de la Concorde in Paris in 1794 and Louis-Denis Caillouette (1790–1868) restored them in 1840. In 1984 it was concluded that the annual military parades on 14 July were damaging the sculptures and they were replaced by marble copies produced by Michel Bourbon in the studio of a subsidiary of Bouygues. The latter also gained the right to an extra copy, which was placed in Bouygues's social building. The original sculptures were moved to a former courtyard in the Richelieu wing of the Louvre Museum, which was renamed the 'cour Marly' in their honour, whilst Bourbon's two main copies were moved to the originals' first site near the trough at Marly, with work overseen by the architect Serge Macel. Guillaume Coustou the Elder (29 November 1677, Lyon – 22 February 1746, Paris) was a French sculptor of the Baroque and Louis XIV style. He was a royal sculptor for Louis XIV and Louis XV and became Director of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1735. He is best known for his monumental statues of horses made for the Chateau of Marly, whose replicas now stand in the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Coustou was a member of a family of famous sculptors; his uncle, Antoine Coysevox, was a royal sculptor; his elder brother, Nicolas Coustou was a sculptor, and his son Guillaume Coustou the Younger also become a noted royal sculptor. Like his older brother, he won the (Prix de Rome) of the Royal Academy which entitled him to study for four years at the French Academy in Rome. However, he refused to accept the discipline of the academy, gave up his studies, set out to make his own career as an artist. He worked for a time in the atelier of the painter Pierre Legros, and eventually returned to Paris. Upon his return to Paris, he assisted his uncle Coysevox in making two monumental equestrian sculptures, Fame and Mercury, for the Château de Marly, the new residence of Louis XIV near the Palace of Versailles, where he went to escape the crowds and ceremony of the Palace. He later (1740–1745), made his own horses, The Horses of Marly, his most famous works, to replace them. The horses reinvent the theme of the colossal Roman marbles of the Horse Tamers in the Piazza Quirinale, Rome. They were commissioned by Louis XV in 1739 and installed in 1745 at the Abreuvoir ("Horse Trough") at Marly. The horses were considered masterpieces of the grace and expressiveness of the French Late Baroque or Rococo style. After the Revolution they were moved from Marly to the beginning of the Champs-Élysées on the Place de la Concorde. The originals were brought indoors for protection at the Louvre Museum in 1984. In 1704 Coustou was received into the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture. The work he made to mark his entrance was Hercules on the Pyre, now in the Louvre. It displays the special hallmark of the Baroque, a twisting and rising transverse pose, as well as highly skillful carving. He rose to become Director of the academy in 1733. Another of his major works from his later career, the statue of Maria Leszczynska, (1731)is on display at the Louvre. Coustou also created two colossal monuments, The Ocean and the Mediterranean among other sculptures for the park at Marly; the bronze Rhone, which formed part of the statue of Louis XIV at Lyons, and the sculptures at the entrance of the Hôtel des Invalides. Of these latter, the bas-relief representing Louis XIV mounted and accompanied by Justice and Prudence was destroyed during the Revolution, but was restored in 1815 by Pierre Cartellier from Coustou's model; the bronze figures of Mars and Minerva (1733–34), on either side of the doorway, were not interfered with. In 1714 for Marly he collaborated in two marble sculptures representing Apollo Chasing Daphne (both at the Louvre), in which Nicolas Coustou sculpted the Apollo and Guillaume the Daphne. About the same time he was commissioned to produce another running figure in marble, a Hippomenes designed to complement an Atalanta copied from the Antique by Pierre Lepautre: each was placed at the center of one of the carp pools at Marly. In 1725 the duc d'Antin, general director of the Bâtiments du Roi commissioned a pair of life-size marbles of Louis XV as Jupiter and Marie Leszczynska as Juno for the park of his château de Petit-Bourg, which adjoined the park of Versailles, to which it was added after the duke's death. A number of his sculptures were for the Tuileries Gardens, most notably a bronze Diane à la biche ("Diana and a Deer"), and Hippoméne (1714), which was originally in the goldfish pond at Marly, then moved to the Tuileries until 1940, when it was brought into the Louvre. Coustou's marble Bust of Samuel Bernard is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guillaume often worked with his brother Nicolas Coustou, particularly in the decoration of royal domestic architecture at Versailles. Sculpture Hercules on the pyre, (1704), the Louvre Hercules on the pyre, (1704), the Louvre Study for one of the horses of Marly (Metropolitan Museum) Study for one of the horses of Marly (Metropolitan Museum) One of the Chevaux de Marly One of the Chevaux de Marly Daphne chased by Apollo, Louvre Daphne chased by Apollo, Louvre Allegory of the Rhone River, Lyon Allegory of the Rhone River, Lyon Marie Leszczynska, the Louvre Marie Leszczynska, the Louvre Hippomène, Tuileries Garden Hippomène, Tuileries Garden Summer from The Four Seasons, originally at Marly, now in Tuileries Gardens Summer from The Four Seasons, originally at Marly, now in Tuileries Gardens Bust of Samuel Bernard
  • Similar to:
    Guillaume Coustou (Sculptor)
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 31.25 in (79.38 cm)Width: 21.75 in (55.25 cm)Depth: 12.75 in (32.39 cm)
  • Style:
    Louis XV (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques:
  • Place of Origin:
  • Period:
    1900-1909
  • Date of Manufacture:
    Circa: Paris, 1900-1920
  • Condition:
    Refinished. Rewired: New 110v wiring. Wear consistent with age and use. Minor fading. A truly beautiful and very decorative pair of lamps. Gilt patina with touch-ups, overall in very good condition. Please view all images.
  • Seller Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference Number:
    Seller: Ref.: A27101stDibs: LU1796235123032
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