Style Neo-Renaissance / Ref.12537
DUCEL from Germain PILON, Cast iron fountain “the Three graces”
Height: 90'' ½ 230cm
Diameter: 55'' ⅛ 140cm
Our cast iron fountain takes as a foot the sculpture model “The Three Graces” also called Henri II's heart monument, made by the French sculptor Germain Pilon (1528 – 1590). The cast model from the original sculpture transformed into a fountain was made by Jean-Jacques Ducel (1801 – 1877) in the 1850's. The Ducel foundry was specialized in cast art sculpture from museum originals. Very appreciated in Paris during the 19th century, the foundry reputation is due to its many rewards during the International Exhibition. In 1878, the foundry is bought by its main concurrent, the Val d'Osne foundry which gathered the images from the Ducel foundry catalogue and wrote on it “Val d'Osne successeur de” (Val d'Osne successor of). The model of our fountain was also taken by the architect and art caster Antoine Durenne at the end of the 19th century. Many other models of our fountain exists in different French cities such as in Fontainebleau, Guéret, Calais or even Barcelona in spain , while others were destroyed but are visible on archive images like the ones of Fismes or Roubaix.
Germain Pilon (1528 – 1590) was one of the most important sculptor of the French Renaissance with Jean Goujon (1510 – 1567). He participated in the creation of the last Valois's tombs and made the recumbent statues of Henri II and Catherine de Medici in the basilica of Saint-Denis. Catherine de Medici (1519 - 1589), ordered to him the Three Graces monument to be the heart sepulture of her late husband, the king Henri II (1519 - 1559). The triangular basement was made by the Italian sculptor Dominico Fiorentino (1506 - 1570) who also gave the model for the bronze urn. This marble sepulture, conserved today in the Louvre Museum, was originally placed in the Celestins convent's church in Paris. The clergymen were shocked by these pagan figures and quickly designated them as the Theological Virtues. The sculpture shows three young women, with their hair dressed in a greek bun, back to back and dressed with light Antic tunic. The way their hands are joined and the supple move of their arms suggest that they are doing a round dance. The theme of the Three Graces, the elegance of the gesture, the expression serenity, the face regularity and the tunics show a reference to Antic statues. Nevertheless, the sculpture also show the sculptor's belonging to Mannerism by the long silhouette and neck, as the drapery deeply curved and the fold given by sharped edges. As said just before, the three young women carry on the original sculpture, a gilt bronze urn on the top of their heads. But on our fountain, this urn has disappeared to give room to a pond put on a support decorated with scrolls added on the center of the round.
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