Bronze reliefs with angels holding instruments of the passion related to stone reliefs dating to 1556 and attributed to Jean Goujon 1510-1567 or Germain Pilon 1535-1590 in the Louvre museum. These bronzes were cast in the 19th century or possibly earlier and were formerly in the the collection of Asbjorn Lunde.
The related stone reliefs had been in the private chapel of Chateau D’Anet the home of Diane de Poitiers 1500-66, who was brilliant-educated according to the principles of Renaissance humanism, including Greek and Latin, independent about her finances, a patron of architecture and the arts-and happened to be the longtime mistress and diplomatic right hand of King Henri II. Known for her lithe beauty she was a muse to numerous paintings and commissioned a sculpture in her garden at Anet with her face and now I’m very curious if the faces on these angels are also both representations of her. This perhaps surprising for the mixture of the thoroughly sensual poses with Christian figures with the leggy angels holding alternately the cross and column that Christ was scourged on, a mid 1500’s combination of eros and Christian imagery a good hundred years before Bernini’s similarly sensual religious sculptures like Ludovica Albertoni and Santa Bibiana yet with the sculptor here in the classical soaked drapery also looking backwards to antiquity and the Roman relief tradition of pre-Christian ecstatic dancing Maenads.
The previous owner Asbjorn Lunde 1927-2017 assembled an esteemed collection of Old Master paintings and sculptures some being presently exhibited in the Department of European Paintings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art among other institutions.
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