Large ormolu and green onyx relief sculpture by Coutan

By Coutan, Jules-Felix (French, 1848–1939)


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This fine and vibrant work by Coutan is titled ‘Renommé Équestre’ (‘Renowned Equestrian’) and depicts a winged classical female figure riding side-saddle on a horse.

Jules-Felix Coutan (1848-1939) is best known for his classically-inspired bronze sculptural groups, many of which now decorate important buildings. These can be found both in France and further afield. The 'Glory of Commerce' — a figural group including Hercules, Mercury and Minerva — that forms the pediment over Grand Central Station in New York is possibly Coutan's most celebrated international work. His smaller bronzes were intended for more private audiences, with whom they remain very popular.

The classicising female figure blows a long horn, which she holds in her right hand. In her left, she clasps a laurel branch. The woman's costume catches the wind and billows around her. Her horse raises its front left leg as it navigates a difficult rocky terrain. Its neck is arched, and its tail and mane blow forward in the wind. Coutan often produced works that involved several different colours and materials. In this piece, the ormolu figure and horse are set against a green onyx background, and set on a plinth of the same material. The red veins in the stone add to the drama and activity of the piece.

The ormolu sculpture is signed 'Coutan' and stamped with the foundry mark, 'Thiebaut Freres Fondeurs Paris'.


Artist / Maker
By Coutan, Jules-Felix (French, 1848–1939)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
c. 1900
Early 20th Century
Animal / Animalier, Equestrian / Horses, Figurative Art, Neoclassical
Onyx, Ormolu (Gilt Bronze)
Gold, Green


74 cm / 29.1 inches
52.5 cm / 20.5 inches
24 cm / 9.4 inches


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