Mid-19th century bronze sculpture with brown patina featuring a cheerful Neapolitan boy playing with a tortoise by the sea. Cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne after François Rude (1784-1855). Marked on the base "F. BARBEDIENNE FONDEUR" and "Reduction Mecanique A. Collas Brevete". Inscribed with black ink under the base : "30917 rl, rl".
Dim: W: 7,1 in - D: 3,5in - H: 5,9in.
Dim: L:18cm, P:9cm, H:15cm.
This bronze sculpture is in overall very good condition. Very minimal wear consistent with age and use.
Our bronze sculpture is made after François Rude marble statue that caused controversy at the Salon of 1833. For the first time, an artist had sculpted a lifesize marble of a picturesque figure. With his "Neapolitan Fisherboy", Rude marked a complete break with classical canons. This anecdotal subject had a huge success. At the same Salon, Francisque Duret (1804-1865) showed a playful "Neapolitan Fisher Boy Dancing the Tarantella". Madame de Stael's novel "Corinne" or "Italy" (1807) influenced the artists taste for picturesque figures of country people and fishermen. They embodied the simple and innocent nature, while Italy was regarded as its last refuge. The 1833 marble of "Neapolitan Fisherboy Playing with a Turtle by the Sea" was purchased by Louis-Philippe's administration for the Luxembourg Museum. It is now in the Department of Sculptures collection of the Louvre Museum in Paris.