Lot 61: MARIUS-JEAN-ANTONIN MERCIÉ FRENCH, 1845-1916
European Sculpture & Works of Art: The Nineteenth Century
November 15, 2005
London, United Kingdom
DAVID APRÈS LE COMBAT (DAVID AFTER THE FIGHT)
111cm., 43 3/4 in.
signed: A.MERCIÉ with the Collas pastille and numbered and inscribed by the foundry 835 F.BARBEDIENNE, Fondeur, Paris
bronze, dark brown patina
The impact of Mercié's David Après le Combat was such that it brought him the distinction of being the only artist to receive the coveted Croix de la Légion d'Honneur while still a student. It had been modelled during Mercié's sojorn in Rome at the French Academy and was undoubtedly an extremely bold statement which begged comparison with seminal works of the Renaissance by Verrocchio, Donatello and Michelangelo. Mercié's youthful hero, however, could never be mistaken for a Renaissance work, with its effete charm and overtones of orientalism. It was exhibited at the Salon of 1872.
Romantics to Rodin, pp.303-4, no.166