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A Rediscovered Masterpiece by Sculptor François Anguier

Published on , by Armelle Fémelat
Auction on 18 June 2023 - 10:00 (CEST) - 13 rue des réservoirs - 78000 Versailles

A very rare terracotta model with unusual iconography enables us to rediscover French sculptor François Anguier (1604-1669), a pioneer of Atticism and the revival of princely funerary monuments in the 17th century.

François Anguier (1604-1669), Funerary monument for Jacques de Souvré (1600-1670),... A Rediscovered Masterpiece by Sculptor François Anguier

François Anguier (1604-1669), Funerary monument for Jacques de Souvré (1600-1670), before 1667, original terracotta preparatory model, 42 x 77 x 20 cm/16.5 x 30.3 x 7.9 in.
Estimate: €2/3 M

As expert Alexandre Lacroix tells us with alacrity: "I have never had my hands on a 17th-century terracotta model of this importance modeled by a French sculptor". He adds: "Until the 18th century, the French preferred wax or wood to present models to their patrons, and it wasn't until the 1730s that terracotta sculptures appeared at the Salon de l'Académie. When you also consider the extreme fragility of the material, it's easy to see why early French terracotta works are so rare. Though preserved at the time by sculptors or patrons, they have now almost all disappeared." His associate, Élodie Jeannest de Gyvès, emphasizes the "traceable history [of the model] right up to the present day, thanks to archival and iconographic support." Sold at an "anonymous" sale on March 21, 1763 (no. 150), and again during the Montesquiou-Fezensac sale, which was held from January 29 to 31, 1872 (no. 123), the terracotta has so far remained in the possession of the patron’s indirect heirs. Models of 17th-century funerary monuments were an essential stage in the creative process, giving substance to the commissioning contract and enabling the parties to agree on the details of the work in question. But very few have survived. Two terracotta models have come down to us so far: François Anguier 's unfinished monument to Maréchal Budes, Comte de Guébriant, still in the hands of his descendants, and Gilles Guérin's recumbent statue of Henri II de Bourbon-Condé (Musée du Louvre), a one-third scale model of the tomb of Saint Thomas…
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Sunday 18 June 2023 - 10:00 (CEST) - Live
13 rue des réservoirs - 78000 Versailles