Friday, September 30, 2011

French Art

Nature Unveiling Herself to Science

This statue was commissioned in 1889 to decorate the new Faculty of Medicine of Bordeaux. A young woman, the allegory of nature, raises a slow movement of the sails of which it is wrapped. After completing the first version of white marble for the decoration of the building, Barrias conceives a second, full color, for the staircase at the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers in Paris.Carved with care so as to exacerbate the decorative building materials, the different pieces are on the veins of banded onyx for sailing, mottled red marble for the dress, the precious lapis lazuli eye and malachite for the beetle, coral for the mouth and lips.The overall effect is a surprising richness. The work belongs to a vast movement of rediscovery of polychrome sculpture, launched by the archaeological finds and illustrated fifty years earlier by Cordier. Before the success of the work, many editions were made.

Source: Musee d'Orsay

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