Lot 139: MARIUS JEAN ANTONIN MERCIE (FRENCH, 1845-1916) 'Gloria Victis', A Bronze Allegorical Group of an Angel with a Soldier
19th Century European Paintings, Drawings and Watercolors and Sculpture
May 27, 1993
New York, NY, USA
Description: inscribed 'A. MERCIE.' and 'GLORIA VICTIS' and 'F. BARBEDIENNE, Fondeur. Paris' and '607' and impressed with the Collas reduction seal 55 1/2 in. (141 cm.) high, on pedestal, rich brown patina LITERATURE H. W. Janson and P. Fusco, "The Romantics to Rodin," Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, 1980, pp. 304-305 H. W. Janson, "19th Century Sculpture," New York, 1985, pp. 190-191 A. Pingeot, A. Le Normand-Romain and L. de Margerie, "Musee d'Orsay: Catalogue sommaire illustre des sculpteirs," Paris, 1986, RF1835 P. Kjellberg, "Les Bronzes du XIXe Siecle: Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs," Paris, 1987, pp. 488-489 Mercie's immensely popular model of 'Gloria Victis' garnered acclaim and awards when it was exhibited as a plaster in the Salon of 1874. Conceived during the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, the work exalts the patriotic sentiment of the times. After the disastrous invasion of France, it was no longer appropriate to depict an ode to the victors, and the composition was reworked into the present sustaining image of the winged figure of Fame carrying a young defeated hero.