Set of Classical bronze bas-relief panels by Barbedienne

By Barbedienne, Ferdinand (French, 1810-1892)


Cast in gilt and patinated bronze, these four beautiful plaques are made after the Renaissance marble masterpiece 'Fontaine des Innocents' by Jean Goujon.


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Each panel depicts a full length bas-relief Classical female maiden with a water-urn, known as a water nymph. The soft brown patina is finely adorned with gilt highlights to create a stunning effect. The panels are each mounted with a ring to the top in order to be hung on a wall. The famed 19th Century French sculptor, Ferdinand Barbedienne has signed them to the base section 'F. Barbedienne' and each is numbered.

The figural subjects in these panels were inspired by the French sculpture 'Fontaine des Innocents' (or Fountain of the Innocents in English), which is a very large fountain carved from marble and completed in 1550. It is currently situated in the Les Halles district of Paris and was designed by the architect Pierre Lescot (French, c.1515 - 1578) and created by the sculptor Jean Goujon (French, c.1510 - c.1565). It is particularly important from an art history perspective since it is the oldest fountain of its size in Paris and is one of the earliest pieces sculpted in the new Renaissance style. Goujon was one of the first sculptors of his period accredited with re-introducing the bas-relief form of sculpture similar to Roman antiquity.

These four bronze bas-relief panels relate to sections of the fountain that were removed from the original structure after the city's water supply became much stronger in the early 19th Century. For protection from the more powerful water pressure (since the panels were at the base of the fountain), they were removed in 1810 and subsequently moved to the Louvre Museum, Paris in 1824, where they are still located today.


Artist / Maker
By Barbedienne, Ferdinand (French, 1810-1892)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
19th Century
19th Century
Classical, Figurative Art, Renaissance
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Patinated Bronze
Brown, Gold


47 cm / 18.5 inches
12 cm / 4.7 inches
2.5 cm / 0.8 inches


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