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   Large bronze Corpus, end XVIII th c. - early XIX th century
   after a model by François Girardon (1628-1715)



Superb Corpus of "Vivo Christo" (Living Christ) after a bronze model of the seventeenth century French art.

Far from the figures of the Christ on the cross with his head dropping on his chest, French art of the seventeenth century preferred to show the Savior at the last moment, throwing a last glance to Heaven. Creating a silhouette in S, the physical posture causes swelling of the chest and a recovery of the body, resulting in a deeply human work, in the tradition of Giotto's Christ, but also a work of art in the taste of the time, focused on anatomy, especially nudity.

This beautiful Christ stands away from Italian art as regards the four nails of the Passion, when Italian art, true to Gothic tradition, sees only three nails, both feet being crucified together. We also note the absence of the crown of thorns, which is not placed systematically by the artists on the front of the Savior, and that of the side wound, the ultimate insult occurring after his death.

In addition to the beautiful model, remarkable is also the sophisticated treatment of the bronze as for a work of art. The patina in several layers goes from red to dark. The beautiful curly hair so typically French is finely chiselled, also on the reverse side.

This Christ, by his attitude and face features is very close to a Christ in ivory by François Girardon preserved in the National Archives, formerly the property of Bossuet, and whose attribution to the great French sculptor is made certain by a paper found in his basement. Francis Girardon produced several famous figures of the crucified Christ in his career, some of which have been preserved, mostly destroyed, and others remain anonymous.

This superb item probably dates from the end of the eighteenth century or the first quarter of the nineteenth century, and belongs to a small series of similar Christ figures created to replace the destructions of the revolution. We find our Christ in Paris at the master altar of the church of St.Eustache, at the Virgin Chapel of St.Sulpice, and above the side altars in the Royal Chapel of Versailles. Although the place of production has not been identified, it certainly comes out of an important workshop close to the Crown.


A Christ exactly similar to our piece was reproduced by Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761-1845) in a painting of the 1812 salon sold by Christie's. Was the model used by Boillyin ivory as the painting suggests or did the painter change the material ? It is yet impossible to decide as no ivory equivalent is known.

                                                                                                                                                                                Material : Bronze, dark patina
                                                                                                                                                                                Origin : France
                                                                                                                                                                                Provenance : France, art market
                                                                                                                                                                                Period :end XVIII th c. - early XIX th century
                                                                                                                                                                                Dimensions : H. : 43 cm - L. : 28 cm

        Ref. : md-133  

   Price : SOLD - to be informed by e-mail when a similar item becomes available.






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