Bowl honoring Gaston Tissandier

Enameler Joséphine Arthurine Blot French

On View Gallery

This bowl, finely enameled by Joséphine Arthurine Blot (1842–1894), honors the aeronaut Gaston Tissandier (1843–1899), a chemist, meteorologist, author, editor, and aviator. On September 30, 1870, during the Franco-Prussian war, Tissandier managed to escape a besieged Paris by balloon transporting courier pigeons and mail. This heroic event is rendered on the bowl’s front side. The classical figure standing to the left, holding the tricolor flag, is a personification of France. It may have been modeled on depictions of mythological figures such as Lucretia or Dido after compositions by Raphael. The allegorical figure is also reminiscent of Delacroix's famous painting Liberty Leading the People of 1830.

The reverse side shows the attempted return flight to Paris made by the aeronaut and his brother Albert, with the balloon Le Jean Bart on November 8, 1870. The aviators were ultimately not successful and landed instead in the Seine River.

Bowl honoring Gaston Tissandier, Joséphine Arthurine Blot (French, 1842–1894), Enamel on copper, foil, French, Paris

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