Offered by Franck Baptiste Provence
French Regional and Parisian furniture
Rare bronze representing the young cupid riding the centaur Chiron.
Good quality of cast iron and chasing; slightly translucent black patina.
Blackened wooden base inlaid with brass threads.
French work from the first third of the 19th century.
Height: 43.5 cm; Width: 23 cm; Depth: 15cm
Our opinion :
Our bronze is inspired by "furietti centaurs".
These two ancient sculptures were discovered in Rome during excavations of Hadrian's Villa in the 1720s.
The statues were subsequently purchased by Cardinal Furietti, whose descendants sold them to Pope Clement XIII, then they entered the collections of the Capitoline Museum in Rome, where they are still kept.
Their fame was immediate and many bronze reductions were made, mainly by Italian workshops.
But our bronze is a variant probably created in France at the beginning of the 19th century following the repatriation by Napoleon of another ancient centaur, now kept in the Louvre. (Inventory MR 122).
This marble statue represents the old centaur tormented by love, it comes from the collection of Cardinal Scipio Caffarelli-Borghese.
In 1807, due to financial troubles and pressure from his new brother-in-law, Napoleon Bonaparte, Camille Borghèse sold 344 antique pieces from the collection to the Louvre.
The arrival in Paris of these antiques had a strong impact and the desire to pair the old centaur of the Louvre in order to compete with the Furietti centaurs was great.
This model therefore takes the features of the young centaur from the Capitoline Museum and a variant of the young eros from the Borghese centaur from the Louvre.
Unlike the Italian reductions, the young horse centaur is very rare and only a handful of examples are known.
Saundra Mann Collection, Christie’s New York October 20, 2006 lot 301, Pair of Centaurs Riding in Love ($ 24,000)