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By Dumaige, Etienne-Henri (French, 1830-1888)
This antique bronze group is a brilliant example of Dumaige's Egyptian Revivalist work, which often drew inspiration from the life of ancient royalty.
Widely acclaimed and highly regarded during his career in the mid-19th century in Paris, Etienne Henry Dumaige was a bronzier and sculptor known for the quality and breadth of his oeuvre. He most often worked using Classical themes and characters, however, in this work, in a rare departure, he constructed a composition in the Egyptian Revivalist style.
In this work the sculptor depicts a princess, standing with her weight slightly to the left, adorned with jewellery that marks her out as Egyptian, and wearing diaphanous robes that disguise but hint at her slim feminine figure. Her crouching attendant, Apollodorus, upon whom she rests her left hand, reveals her from behind a tapestry robe. The group is placed on a veined rouge marble base. The pose of the princess and her servant is drawn from the painting 'Cleopatra before Caesar' by Jean-Leon Gérôme, and is rendered here in patinated bronze with wonderful attention paid both to the textures and ripples in the figures' drapery, and to the musculature and curves of the forms of the princess and her attendant themselves.
The work is signed 'H. Dumaige' on the cloak strewn beneath the figures towards the front.
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