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Jacques Louis Gautier (1831-1900) - Foundry Duplan & Salles - two large bronze statues depicting Mephistophéles and Macbeth - France - third quarter of the 19th century

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Kavelnummer 18925401

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In very good condition

Two exceptional bronze statues of Mephistophéles and Macbeth, cast from the original model of Jacques Louis Gautier (1831-1900), by the foundry Duplan & Salles in Paris in the third quarter of the 19th century

Jacques-Louis Gautier (1831-1900) is a Giacometti before his time, without the rough edges. After training in the studio of the French sculptor François Rude (whose Jeanne d’Arc Listening to Her Voices is in the Louvre museum), Gautier began producing small bronze statues for several foundries. Best known for a figure of Mephistopheles, first exhibited in the Industrial Arts section of the 1855 Universal Exhibition, in the mid-1850s, he also created one of the witches from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.


Approx. 60 cm tall, 10 cm wide (shoulder), ca. 1855, inscribed on base (name, foundry and artist), bronze with black patina

It is in a great condition, see pictures for a better impression.

Gautier modelled this extraordinary figure of Mephistopheles in the early 1850s and sent it for display to the Exposition Universelle of 1855. Its idiosyncratic design proved a success and soon after the firm Duplan et Salles began to cast the model in bronze. Busquet, a critic for the journal L’Artiste was moved to write ‘They have edited this strange Mephistopheles with a long and grimacing profile which one can see, not without some surprise, in the showrooms of the principal stores in Paris’. One customer was the Duchess of Alba, who acquired a cast for the cabinet of Napoleon III.
The elongated figure derived stylistically from such seventeenth-century artists as Callot and Bellange and appealed to the Romantic tendency toward macabre images.
Mephistopheles (short form Mephisto) is the name of the devil in the ‘Faust’ theme. In the original saga about the historical person Johann Faust, Mephistopheles pledges to serve Faust until he says a very specific sentence, after which the roles are swapped. In Christopher Marlowe's drama ‘The Tragic History of Doctor Faustus’ from 1589, Mephistopheles appears alongside Beelzebub as Lucifer's envoy and concludes the pact with Faust. In Goethe's Faust, on the other hand, Mephistopheles makes a bet with God and says he will succeed in dissuading Doctor Heinrich Faust from the right path, but this depiction has nothing to do with the medieval and popular idea of ​​the devil.

Pierre Kjellberg mentions 'Mephistophéles' in his famous book 'Bronzes of the 19th century' on page 355.


Approx. 60 cm tall, 10 cm wide (shoulders) made of bronze with black patina, ca. 1853, cast later by Duplan & Salles.
It is in a great condition see the pictures for a better impression.

The witch’s spindly limbs twist around a broom with a slow and writhing unease. Her face cocks to one side and contorts into a snarling, manipulative smile. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, three witches make a dark prophecy that weaves conflict and evil into the minds of those who hear it. In this macabre portrayal, Jacques-Louis Gautier elongated the witch’s body, appealing to the 1800s Romantic taste for the dramatic and horrific.
Shakespeare’s play calls for three weird (originally in the First Folio ‘wayward’) sisters. Old English wyrd means fate, hence ‘fateful sisters’. Interestingly, Gautier’s witch appears to be a man. Eye of newt and toe of frog, the spell went wrong!

A larger variant of 'Macbeth' is mentioned and depicted in Pierre Kjellberg's book 'Bronzes of the 19th century' on page 354-355.

***I would prefer the buyer to pick them up (Germany - NRW) I could even deliver in a radius of 300-400 km from where I live, in case of picking up I will refund the money for the courier.
In case pick up isn't possible I will send them with express courier by DHL (door to door delivery) and insured, that's why the costs for delivery are high. I also have to include packing materials as I can’t send them in a simple cardboard box. Here goes the same, I’ll refund the difference if it will be more than 5-10€ over.

Vertaling bekijken Automatisch vertaald. Uitzetten

De claudiubaika  

Lid sinds: 6 november 2017


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