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David, Winner Of Goliath By Antonin Mercié (1854-1916), F. Barbedienne Founder

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Bronze sculpture representing David standing, sheathing his sword, one foot on the head of Goliath that he has just beheaded by Antonin Mercié.
Signature of sculptor Antonin Mercié on the oval terrace, "A. Mercié"
Inscription of the Founder Ferdinand Barbedienne, "F.Barbedienne.Fondeurs Paris"
Brown patina
Period XIX th century
Height: 72 in. (XNUMX cm)

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Bronze sculpture representing David standing, sheathing his sword, one foot on the head of Goliath that he has just beheaded by Antonin Mercié.
Signature of sculptor Antonin Mercié on the oval terrace, "A. Mercié"
Inscription of the Founder Ferdinand Barbedienne, "F.Barbedienne.Fondeurs Paris"
Brown patina
Period XIX th century

With the war of 1870 and the defeat of the country, French society was won over by a feeling of humiliation and the desire for revenge.

Such a state of mind shows in this David the promise of a France which one day will overthrow, despite its weakness, the Prussian Goliath, like the young shepherd of Israel who, with the sole help of his sling, brought down the enemy giant.
So the sculpture was immediately a huge success:
the plaster executed in Rome, where the young artist finished his training, earned him the Legion of Honor, and was commissioned in bronze by the State in 1872, then placed in the Musée du Luxembourg - the museum of living artists - from 1874.

It became one of the most widely disseminated images in illustrated newspapers, and was so popular that it was published in small size and in six different sizes by the founder Barbedienne.
At the turn of 1870, Antonin Mercié embodied the young generation of French sculptors who wanted to give their figures a more vibrant expression at the heart of classical teaching.
He seeks this alliance between scholarly composition and nervous modeling in the great models of the Florentine Renaissance:
hence the large and beautiful curves of the arm extended by the movement of the sword, of the bent leg, the grace of David's movement which invites the spectator to turn around the different planes which gradually modulate the space.

Between modern classicism and explicit realism, Mercié finds an original path.

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