Description
D'APRÈS JEAN DE BOLOGNE, DIT GIAMBOLOGNA (Douai, 1529 Florence, 1608)
MERCURE VOLANT
France, second half of the 19th century
Bronze with an antique green patina
Base in red Morello cherry marble Castor's
stamp: Maison Graux-Marly in Paris
H. 225 cm, W. 54 cm, D. 140 cm

This monumental bronze sculpture with an antique green patina represents Mercury, god of commerce, travellers and messenger of other gods. He is identifiable thanks to the many attributes visible on this work such as the winged feet, the petase and the caduceus which has the virtue of bringing sleep or bringing back concord. He puts one foot on a column of air coming out of Zephyr's mouth, under the features of a boy with swollen cheeks. The whole composition rests on a moulded red Morello cherry marble base. This bronze originates from a creation of one of the greatest Flemish bronze-makers of the 16th century, John of Bologna (fig.1). We can observe here all the mannerist art of this artist, particularly in the pose of Mercury, who is trying to take flight in complete imbalance.
With a superb decorative effect, our 19th-century melted work perfectly captures the genius of John of Bologna, notably the elegance of the movement, the slight contraposto or the highly improbable position of the god. A stamp placed under Zéphyr's face indicates that this sculpture was cast by the Maison Graux-Marly, founded in 1845 in Paris. It was awarded a Bronze medal in 1849 at the Exposition des Produits de l'Industrie and will be present at all the Universal Exhibitions until 1900. Very active throughout the 19th century, this house produced numerous
Bronzes for furniture (clocks or candelabras of all styles sometimes covered with enamel) and sculpture fonts inspired by Antiquity and the Renaissance, as our model shows, but also by their contemporaries such as Antoine-Louis Barye, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux or
Emmanuel Frémiet.
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Lot 87

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Estimate 30 000 - 50 000 EUR
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