Lot 4501
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Home & Interiors: Antique Furniture & Design, Ceramics & Decorative Art | 16 June 2022
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After Gaspard Marsy (1624-1681) and Anselme Flamen (1647-1717), 'Boreas abducting Orithya'; and after François Girardon (1628-1715), 'Pluto abducting Proserpina'

18th/19th century, France

These patinated bronzes represent two abduction themes from Ovid's Metamorphoses. The first group showing the figure of Boreas, the Greek god of the north wind, abducting Orithyia of Athens and climbing over Zephyr. The second group shows the figure of Pluto, ruler of the Greek underworld, grabbing the goddess Proserpina (or Persephone) to take her to his realm, while her companion Cyane attempts in vain to stop him.

These are bronze reductions of two large marble sculptures designed by Marsy and Girardon for the Parterre d'Eau in the garden of the château of Versailles, during the height of the reign of Louis XIV. The works in marble were executed from ca. 1677 and 1675 onwards, but since the initial plan for the Parterre d'Eau (four abduction groups as Four Elements) was modified during the 1680s, the finished sculptures were placed elsewhere in the garden. These marble sculptures became very popular as soon as they were installed at Versailles, which is why bronze reductions of the Boreas and Pluto groups were produced. These appeared in various sizes during the 1690s, and throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

Boreas group: H 54,5 cm, Pluto group: H 56,5 cm

€ 20.000,00
€ 30.000,00

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