This outstanding & incredibly sculpted work of art is a 19th Century Museum masterpiece.
The 19th Century was the Century of eclecticism, a term deriving from a philosophical doctrine of choosing the best theses in various systems in order to make a comprehensive system. This can be seen in the decorative arts through the use of a variety of inspired sources, also known in the decorative arts as the Renaissance style. The Neo-Renaissance style appeared at the same time as the accession of King Louis-Philippe ( 1830-1848 ) and around 1835, the Middle-Ages cult overshadowed the Renaissance style. The artists of the Neo-Renaissance style were inspired by both the motifs used in the Renaissance style and those used in the Henri II style. They were affected by the rediscovery of Italian Primitives, which first made their appearance in the Louvre in the 1830s.
The decorator Michel Joseph Napoléon Liénard ( 1810-1870 ) contributed to the spread of the Neo-Renaissance style, with ornaments deriving from the 16th century, cartouches, intertwining features, excessive mouldings, eternal chimeras, caryatid , putti, satire, rosary beads, shells & grimacing figures. He worked with the architect Duban in restoring the castles at Amboise, Versailles Palace & Blois, as well as the chapel at Dreux, which ensured him a sureness of hand and a high level of knowledge about former styles, especially the Renaissance style. He created the models of the sculptures on the Saint Michel fountain in Paris. From 1835 to 1865, Liénard played an important role in the Neo-Renaissance style and is the creator of all sorts of Neo-Renaissance style models. It is highly likely he played a role in the design of this magnificent piece.
Giallo Egitto is an ancient marble quarried in Egypt, it was used by the Romans & has a distinctly warm & mellow colour. The blaze of colour from coloured marbles was a sought-after status symbol in private residences and luxury villas belonging to the Roman upper classes. Anyone with aspirations had coloured marble columns in their home as well as floors and walls covered with shining, polished coloured marble panels identical to those in the interior of a temple. Over time, the use of coloured marble became more and more sophisticated, as did the way that artists interpreted its materiality and colour. The era saw experimentation with all kinds of new techniques, such as marble applications, decorative inlay work & sculpting.