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Napoleon Bronze on Horse by Jean Leon Gerome

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Napoleon Bronze on Horse by Jean Leon Gerome

- Item No.

A magnificent equestrian sculpture by the famed artist Jean-Léon Gérôme

Key Features

  • A magnificent equestrian sculpture by the famed artist Jean-Léon Gérôme
  • A portrait of the future emperor General Napoleon Bonaparte riding triumphantly
  • Gérôme portrayed his subject in the gilt bronze and ivory medium known as chryselephantine
  • Jerome was inspired by Napoleon and executed a painting of the emperor as well
  • Signed JL. Gerome,and inscribed Siot-Decauville Fondeur Paris
  • Circa 1897
  • 16 1/2" high

Item Details

  • Height:
    16 1/2" Inches
  • Origin:
    France
  • Material:
    Bronze
  • Artist:
    Gerome, Jean-Leon
Jean-Léon Gérôme
1824-1904 French

Bonaparte Entering Cairo 

Circa 1897

16 1/2" high

Signed "JL. Gerome," and inscribed "Siot-Decauville Fondeur Paris."

In this magnificent equestrian sculpture by the famed artist Jean-Léon Gérôme, the future emperor General Napoleon Bonaparte rides triumphantly upon the laurels of his Egyptian conquest. The sculptor deftly captures the young general's grand and determined spirit as he enters Cairo a hero. A stunning work in bronze and ivory, this sculpture is based on Gérôme's captivating bronze sculpture, which was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1897, and subsequently bought by the French government for the Galerie du Luxembourg.

Gérôme portrayed his subject in the gilt bronze and ivory medium known as "chryselephantine." This Greek sculptural technique was developed in the 6th cent. B.C.E. Sculptures, especially temple colossi (the large sculptures of gods found in Greek temples), were made with an inner core of wood overlaid with ivory, to simulate flesh, and gold, to represent drapery. The great Parthenon Athena, now lost, was chryselephantine, as was the statue of Zeus at the temple of Olympia. Sculptors of the Art Nouveau and Deco periods embraced this technique, creating figures of subtle beauty. In employing this technique, Gérôme emphasizes the near-god-like and blessed status of the future Emperor.

French Academic painter and sculptor Gérôme began his art studies with the famed Paul Delaroche, later enrolling into the École des Beaux-Arts. He garnered much acclaim for his sculpture and his painting, winning awards at the prestigious Salon, and earning memberships into the Institute de Français, the Légion d'Honneur, the British Royal Academy and the Order of the Red Eagle, bestowed upon him by Prussian Emperor Wilhelm I.

Gérôme favored subjects of Grecian and Roman themes, a preference that would attract the disapproval of art critics. One of his most famous works is Pollice Verso (1872), the gladiatorial scene that popularized the "thumbs down" gesture. He was also inspired to paint Napoleon, capturing the general's sense of history in his striking canvas, Bonaparte before the Sphinx.

Artist's Museums:
Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France
Musée des Augustins, Toulouse, France
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux, France
Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
National Gallery, London, UK
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, UK
The Wallace Collection, London, UK
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

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