Pair of large bronze Atlas figures on pedestals


This grand pair of French sculptures depicts a pair of Atlantis figures, one of whom supports the weight of Earth while the other supports the heavens.


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This impressive duo of Atlantis figures represents the burden of the heavens and the burden of the Earth. Each figure, wrought from darkly patinated bronze, stands in the nude with the left foot ahead of the right, both arms braced on the waist, and head and shoulders hunched far forward. One figure carries as his burden a terrestrial globe, while the other supports a celestial armillary sphere. Each burden—the globe and the armillary—is formed from gilt and patinated bronze and is inscribed with various words in French pertinent to the earth or the heavens.

Each of the figures is supported by a wooden pedestal, partially ebonised and parcel gilt. The front of each pedestal is inscribed in Latin with text relevant to the figure it supports. The pedestal of the Atlantis who holds the Earth is inscribed ‘MEDIAM ESSE MUNDI TERRAM’, which translates to something like ‘at the middle is the Earth’, while the other reads ‘ERRANTIUM MOTUS LUMINUM CANONICA’, which may be translated to ‘the laws of movement of wandering light’, in reference to the night-time heavens.

Figure with globe: Height 135cm, diameter 46cm
Figure with armillary sphere: Height 132cm, diameter 52cm
Each pedestal: Height 74cm, width 47cm, depth 47cm


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
20th Century
20th Century
Figurative Art, Neoclassical
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Patinated Bronze, Wood
Black, Brown, Gold


135 cm / 53.1 inches
46 cm / 18.1 inches


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