A Bronze Figure of 'David vainqueur de Goliath' By Antonin Mercié

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Object Description

‘David vainqueur de Goliath’ – A Fine Patinated Bronze Figure By Antonin Mercié, Cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne.

With rich brown patina, the base cast with a lozenge with the Hebrew for David and Signed ‘A. Mercie’, ‘F. BARBEDIENNE FONDEUR’, with ‘REDUCTION MECHANIQUE A. COLLAS BREVETE’ stamp.

The figure depicts the Biblical story of young David’s final triumph over Goliath and is one of the most recognisable and celebrated sculptures of the nineteenth century.

Influenced by the works of Verrocchio and Donatello, the piece earned Mercié a first-class medal as well as the rank of Chevalier de légion d’honneur at the Paris Salon of 1872.

The life size version of Mercié’s David is in the permanent collection of the Museé D’Orsay (RF 186, LUX 74).

French, Circa 1880.

Object History

Marius-Jean-Antonin Mercié

Marius-Jean-Antonin Mercié (1845- 1916) was born in Toulouse and studied at the école des Beaux-Arts, Paris, under Alexandre Falguière and François Jouffroy, He made his debut at the Salon in 1868 when he won the celebrated Grand Prix de Rome with the group Thesée vainqueur du Minotaure. This entitled him to study in Rome, and whilst studying in Rome from 1869 to 1873, he already executed the models for his first two popular works, David and Gloria Victis. In 1873 Mercié was given the Cross of the Legion of Honour – an unprecedented award for a sculptor who was still a student at the French Academy in Rome. He was also one of the few sculptors to be elected to grand officer of the Légion d’Honneur, and in 1913 became the president of the Société des Artistes Français.

Object Literature

P. Kjellberg Les Bronzes Du XIXe Siecle, Les Editions de L’Amateur, Paris.

Object Details

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