A patinated bronze sculpture of the Duke of Wellington on horseback after a model by Alfred-Guillaume Gabriel, Comte d'Orsay (French, 1801-1852) mid-19th century
Inscribed and dated on the base and to the underside of the horse COMTE D'ORSAY SCULPT. 1848, the base also stamped T. W. No. 19. and JH. height 16 in (40.5cm)
The Comte d'Orsay studied sculpture in Florence and Paris before arriving in London in 1823. He mixed in aristocratic circles and enjoyed success as a painter and sculptor in both Paris and London, exhibiting at the Royal Academy throughout the 1840's and also at the Paris Salon from 1845. He was nominated as the Director of the Beaux-Arts in 1852 by Louis-Napoleon and exhibited his bronze equestrian statue of Napoleon in 1849 at the Paris Salon.
The artist was particularly proud of the present equestrian statuette which caused a stir in London and greatly pleased the Duke. He also produced a bust of the Duke which was reproduced in Parian ware; as well as an oil portrait of Wellington which was apparently one of his favorite depictions, and is now in the National Portrait Gallery.
Literature: This model is illustrated on page 526, P. Kjellberg, Les Bronzes du XIX Siècle, Les éditions de l'amateur, Paris, 1987.
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English Furniture and Works of Art