Purchase, Charles Ulrick and Josephine Bay Foundation Inc. Gift, 1964
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 548
Lining the rusticated, arched facade of the Henry Kravis wing of the Museum are four larger-than-lifesize Allegories of the Elements, made of limestone (64.93.1–.4). Originally standing in the gardens of the Château de Mussegros near Ecouis in Normandy, the figures can be attributed on stylistic grounds to the sculptor Jean-Pierre Defrance (1694–1768) and are dated around 1750. Shown here is the allegorical figure of Earth, who holds a cornucopia in her left hand, while to her lower right a small child or putto holding a sickle in his hand offers her a freshly cut sheaf of wheat. The elegant poise of Earth and the sweeping, asymmetrical folds of her draperies are typical of garden statuary in the late Rococo style.
possibly Joseph-Alexandre Paviot, Seigneur de Mussegros , or his son-in-law ; Nicolas de Frémont d'Auneuil , Mussegros (Commune d'Ecouis, Eure) ; [ Wildenstein and Co., Inc. , New York, until 1964; sold to MMA ]