Large French patinated bronze sculpture of David by Mercié and Barbedienne
French, c. 1878
Height 77cm, width 36cm, depth 27cm
This superb patinated bronze sculpture is a famous example of late 19th Century French decorative art. The original of the present piece is by Antonin Mercié; it depicts David, the Biblical hero, the moment after he has slayed Goliath. Mercié studied in Italy, and the influence of the Renaissance masters—particularly the Davids of Raphael and Verrocchio—is apparent. The present example is a reduced version of Mercié’s original, and was cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne, one of the leading bronze workers of his day. It is signed to the base for Mercié and Barbedienne and is also marked with the reduction stamp for Collas. The front of the base is inscribed with as series of names and is dated 1878.