A demure and elegant figure of the Renaissance

On 18 June 2020, by Anne Doridou-Heim

With this fine pre-emption, the Louvre adds a key piece to its Renaissance bronze department.

Ponce Jacquiot (vers 1515 - 1570), Girl with a Thorn, bronze with varnished medallion patina, Italy, late 16th century, 25 x 22.10 x 11.9 cm.
Result: €1,460,500

Because of the lockdown, this historical small bronze, Girl with a Thorn, had to wait a while to enter the melee of the auction room. But this did not alter her velvety patina or make her any less vibrantly desirable. The Musée du Louvre had all the time it needed to prepare its pre-emption dossier, and finally, after a lengthy bidding battle, she was bought for €1,460,500 to thunderous applause. She will soon be seen in the showcases of Paris's foremost museum alongside her sister in terra cotta. This version – mentioned in the post-mortem inventory of the financier Pierre Crozat, and again during a sale in 1772 – vanished from view for over two centuries before reappearing in an auction, where she was recognised by two top specialists, Alain Moatti and Jacques Petithory. She entered the museum four years later. So this purchase was no accident, but a logical follow-up with a happy end. Philippe Malgouyres, head curator of patrimony at the Musée du Louvre, adds that "the Louvre has one of the world's largest collections of Renaissance and 17th-century bronzes, which mostly came from Louis XIV's collection. Jaquio's work, produced under Francis I at a time when France and Italy had very close relations, is a perfect example of this fertile artistic exchange in terms of aesthetics, subject and material. This bronze will now take its place alongside other works of the same period, including medallions by Girolamo Della Robbia." The acquisition will also enable further research on the work of its creator, the French artist Ponce Jacquiot (c. 1515-1570), acknowledged as one of the leading Renaissance masters. It already highlights the high demand from collectors and museums for exceptional Renaissance bronzes, which are few and far between.

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