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Hercules Delivering Prometheus

The exhibition is made possible by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation.

The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

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Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution

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Curator James Draper speaks about a tradition of bronze sculpture developed in France beginning in the sixteenth century. While influenced by achievements of the Italian Renaissance, the French tradition manifested its own distinct refinement and force. Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution, on view at the Met in 2009, included over one hundred of the finest statuettes, portrait busts, and monuments by masters such as Germain Pilon, Barthélemy Prieur, Michel Anguier, François Girardon, Antoine Coysevox, Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, and Jean-Antoine Houdon. Seen together, these works revealed the French genius for bronze from the late Renaissance through the times of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI.

James Draper, curator, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Learn more from James David Draper and Chairman Ian Wardropper:
http://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/audio/exhibitions/035-special-exhibition-cast-in-bronze-french-sculpture-from-renaissance-to-revolution

Learn more about European sculpture at the Met:
http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-museum/museum-departments/curatorial-departments/european-sculpture-and-decorative-arts

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Special Exhibition: Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution

Program information

Curators Ian Wardropper and James David Draper describe The French Parnassus, an extraordinary bronze sculpture featured in the special exhibition "Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution," on view at the Met February 24 through May 25, 2009.

Cast in Bronze

French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution

February 24–May 25, 2009

Accompanied by a catalogue

Beginning in the sixteenth century, a tradition of bronze sculpture developed in France that was influenced by achievements of the Italian Renaissance while manifesting its own distinct refinement and force. Even though French bronzes were among the glories of royal châteaux, including Versailles, and were always collected eagerly by connoisseurs, they have received relatively little scrutiny from scholars. This exhibition, the first to address the subject in many decades, displays approximately 120 of the finest statuettes, portrait busts, and monuments by masters such as Germain Pilon, Barthélemy Prieur, Michel Anguier, François Girardon, Antoine Coysevox, Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, and Jean-Antoine Houdon. Seen together, they reveal the French genius for bronze from the late Renaissance through the times of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI.

Left: François Lespingola (Joinville, 1644–Paris, 1705). Hercules Delivering Prometheus. Probably Paris, ca. 1675–1700. Bronze group; 16 3/4 x 23 1/4 x 14 1/8 in. (42.6 x 59 x 35.8 cm). Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Grünes Gewölbe GGIX.88