List Price £35,000
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By Bertin, Jules (French, 1826-1892)
This magnificent patinated bronze sculpture personifies the Republic of France and conveys a solemn message pertinent during the years after the Franco-Prussian war.
This exceptionally large and superbly wrought patinated bronze sculpture epitomises with great beauty an important period of French history. The sculpture depicts a full-length, semi-nude female figure, who must be associated with Marianne or Liberty, the personification of France and French Republican virtue who was most famously realised in art by Delacroix.
The figure patriotically holds aloft a flag while standing on a sphere modelled with a territorial map of the Alsace-Lorraine region. In the aftermath of the ill-fated Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, this region was lost to France and annexed by newly unified Germany—a situation that persisted until the end of the First World War. The message of the sculpture, which was created in 1879 when Alsace-Lorraine was still and recently lost to Germany, is that France will one day prevail.
The bronze is signed, situated, and dated ‘Jules Bertin / Paris / 1879’, and the base is inscribed ‘Alsace’ to one panel, ‘R. F.’ for République Française to another panel, and ‘Lorraine’ to a third. The bronze is set on a shaped red marble plinth.
Total height: 140cm
Bronze: Height 133cm, width 54cm, depth 54cm
Base: Height 7cm, width 58cm, depth 58cm
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