A fine quality gilded and chiseled bronze sculpture of Joan of Arc
Our sculpture is part of the very first series of this model and offers high-quality finishes and very well-defined details compared to later copies that appeared on the market. Furthermore, the bronze statue rests on an original porphyry base and black Belgian marble base with a jutting frame in gilded and chiselled bronze.
Joan of Arc is shown with a short pageboy haircut and wearing full plate armour. Her helmet and gauntlets rest on a stump beside her. She stands with her sword to her chest, and her head bowed, suggesting that she is praying. In this instance, the sword acts as a stand-in for a crucifix and emphasizes her piety (the blade can be extracted from the hand).
A similar sculpture is kept in the collection of the Museum of the University of Notre Dame.
The Internal signature R. Frères
The internal signature at the base belongs to the Raingo Frères Foundry, whose business was founded in 1813, and around 1830, it appeared at 8 Rue de Touraine. The four Raingo brothers were first recognized as clockmakers, but in 1841, at 11 Rue de Saintonge, they added art bronzes and furnishings to their repertoire. At first, they made reproductions of antiques and then proceeded to works by contemporary artists, cast in a small number of the model. As of 1860, the Raingo house furnished bronzes to emperor and empress and owned an important store of exhibition pieces at 102 Rue Vielle-du-Temple. They stayed at this address until the 1930s. Among the artists whose work was cast by Raingo Frères are Pradier, Carrier-Belleuse, and Auguste Moreau.
Princess Marie d’Orléans was the youngest daughter of the French king Louis-Philippe and a student of Ary Scheffer and David d’Angers. During his reign, Louis-Philippe commissioned art to further his political objectives – the most ambitious example was his transformation of the Château de Versailles into a national museum commemorating the “glories of France.” In 1835, the king commissioned from his daughter a large marble of the medieval heroine and saint Joan of Arc.
Marie d’Orléans was interested in French Medieval history, especially the life and legacy of Joan of Arc, the heroine of the resistance to the English occupation of France during the Hundred Years War and a patron saint of France. Joan of Arc Praying was a sculpture created at the request of her father, who wanted a life-size statue of Joan of Arc for the palace at Versailles. Initially sculpted from terracotta and exhibited to favorable reviews at the Salon of 1837, a full-scale marble was made for Versailles with the assistance of professional sculptors.
A pupil of David d’Angers for sculpture, Princess Marie d’Orléans is represented here by the artist Prosper Lafaye in her apartments in the Tuileries and more precisely in the Gothic living room.