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After Fulconis, Louis Guillaume (French, 1818-1873) | Giambologna (Italian, 1529-1608)
This magnificent pair of patinated bronze sculptures depict the gods Mercury and Fortuna and are after some of the most celebrated sculptures of all time.
The duo in this pair are Mercury and Fortuna, the Roman gods of commerce and communication in the case of Mercury and of fortune and luck in that of Fortuna. The present pieces have as their prototypes great sculptures in the art historical canon: Mercury is after Giambologna’s 16th Century almost life-size original, while Fortuna is after Louis Guillaume Fulconis, a leading French sculptor of the 19th Century who, in the composition of his Fortuna, clearly had Giambologna’s older forms in mind.
Mercury stands atop Boreas, the god of the north wind, his winged right leg thrown aloft behind him. He holds his caduceus and wears his winged helmet. His posture is taut and his musculature clearly visible. Fortuna, who stands upon the Wheel of Fortune, strikes a similar pose, though her body demonstrates a greater softness than the Renaissance ideal underpinning Mercury. Both patinated bronze figures are supported by conforming bronze plinths, the sides of which are decorated in the round with bas relief scenes of cherubim carousing in an idyllic pastoral landscape.
The figure of Mercury is signed ‘J. de Bologne’, indicating its conceptual provenance.
Mercury: Height 64cm, width 11cm, depth 27cm
Fortuna: Height 65cm, width 14cm, depth 22cm
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