AIMÉ MILLET (FRENCH, 1819-1891) BRONZE SCULPTURE OF VERCINGÉTORIX
Circa 1875, signed "Aime Millet SC MDCCCLX" and "BUSSON LEROUX"
Item # 409GEP06W
Millet's rendering of the ancient Gaulish leader, Vercingetorix was commissioned as a colossal statue by Napoleon III and installed in Alise-Sainte-Reine, France in 1865. The work is catalogued to have been reduced to 53 cm (22") with a few versions of that casting size held in museum collections, while the much larger present example is cast in the rare and substantial size of 29" (74 cm). The level of detail is exquisite, each tiny aspect of the full size example captured faithfully, including the rosehead button decorations of his leather breastplate, the complex chasing and filing of the sword and knife, his bold and very strong features and the wild flow of his windblown locks. The circular base is signed along the edge.
For the serious collector of powerful Romantic sculpture, this is an unusually fine and example with an energy and presence that is inspiring.
- Bronzes: Sculptors and Founders, 1800-1930, Vol. III, Berman, p. 704, f. 2570 - showing Vercingetorix in 22" with a square base over marble
- Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century: Dictionary of Sculptors, Kjellberg, p. 495 - with some discussion of reductions
- Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Grund, Vol. IX, p. 996-7 - biographical information
Measurements: 29" H, base diameter 10 1/4" x 10 5/16
Bottom 1/4 of patina restored from heavy verdigris oxidization; polished and presentation ready. Minor trace oxidization in crevices, light patina loss to finger, some minor pitting in the garment.