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Style Napoleon III / Ref.10684

Mathurin MOREAU (1822-1912) - The triumph of Cupid and Bacchus, Statuary marble sculpture

Width: 18'' ⅛  46cm
Height: 34'' ⅝  88cm
Depth: 15'' ⅜  39cm

Circa 1860-1880.
Signed “Math Moreau”.

in very good condition. Few chips.

This group in Statuary marble, representing Cupid and Bacchus as children carrying triumphantly a third character, is the work of Mathurin Moreau.

The comradeship of Cupid and Bacchus, gods of desire and wine, represents the hedonistic and joyful alliance of the two most popular inebriations. The painter Gérôme made a famous version of it around 1850, where Bacchus child is wearing a skin of panther, as in the marble group by Mathurin Moreau.
This skin of beast, the nebrida, symbolizes the summoning of animal forces during the trance to which the god Bacchus presides. It is carried by the bacchantes and faunas of its procession, and by the god himself. As in the painting of Gérôme, the nebrida of the god of wine and the god of Love's gown adorned with flowers meet in their backs, like two trains that spread euphoria in their wake.
Bacchus is also recognizable by its crown of vines, and the amphora he steps over. Cupid is equipped with his quiver and a pair of wings.

The two divinities have allied to procure a moment of perfect joy to the mortal whom they carry in triumph. The latter, a cup in the hand, is literally carried by the euphoria of his inebriation.

Mathurin Moreau is known for numerous public monuments decorations. One of the greatest french sculptors in 19th century, Mathurin Moreau was rewarded at the Salons of 1855, 1859, 1861 and 1863, and at the World Fairs of 1867, 1878 and 1889. He is also known for his political commitment, author of an essay on poverty in 1851, and mayor of Paris' 19th arrondissement in 1878.

Son of a sculptor, Mathurin Moreau's awareness to the high art of sculpture in the round is very early risen, and he wins the second Prix de Rome at the age of twenty-one. As soon as he finishes his studies, he works for the great Foundry of Val d'Osne , to the extent that his models decorate the public space across all France, as well as in Geneva, Liverpool or even Peru and Buenos Aires.

Among his most famous monumental works, one must quote the sculptures of the Fountain of Tourny, Gold Medal at the World's Fair of 1855 , that notably decorates the esplanade of the Quebec Parliament, and also Oceania (1878), placed in front of the Orsay Museum.

His marble statues are also appreciated and rapidly purchased by the State, like the Fileuse (1861). In parallel with this activity as an official sculptor, Mathurin Moreau produced a large series of statuettes partly displayed at the Salon des Artistes Français and sold on the market. Cupid and Bacchus are thus part of this work that was intended to privet decoration, by a prolific artist.