19th-century French cast bronze table statue of Diana the huntress - signed Houdon 23¼"

SKU: 17847


A rare version featuring gilding, a superb nineteenth-century French cast bronze table statue of Diana the huntress - signed "Houdon" on the base for Jean Antoine Houdon (1741-1828). This dynamic sculpture features Diana the Huntress with her bow and arrow mid-movement resting one foot on the round cast bronze and gilt base and the other suspended behind her. Jean-Antoine Houdon, a prolific and celebrated French sculpture artist, Jean-Antoine Houdon was born March 20, 1741, in Versailles, and died July 15, 1828, in Paris.

The original sculpture, was Houdon's first life-size bronze standing over six feet and weighing 747 pounds, has been exhibited at The Huntington Library and The Frick Collection. Commissioned by banker Jean Girardot de Marigny for his Paris garden—his name etched on the base—it depicts Diana, the hunt goddess, uniquely bare except for a crescent moon in her hair, a blend of her traditional nude bather and clothed huntress representations, evoking classical tradition in an 18th-century context.

Houdon is famous for his portrait busts and statues of philosophers, inventors and political figures of the Enlightenment. After producing several busts and statues of Napoleon, he was awarded the Legion d'Honneur in 1809. The bulk of his work can be seen in the Louvre in Paris, though his work can also be found in museums across the world, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and museums in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and the US.

Notably connected to the US, Houdon was close friends with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, whom he met in Paris, and his rendering of Jefferson survives in the Jefferson dollar and the nickel. He was also commissioned by the American Congress to come to Philadelphia to create a statue and bust of George Washington. (Source: Benezit Guide). Please note the gilded arrow is slightly bent and could possibly be corrected by an expert with caution and care.

Condition and wear consistent with age and use.
Approx. overall 23¼" high x 15¼" wide x 11¾" deep
Approx. overall 59cm high x 39cm wide x 30cm deep

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