Bronze vase with an aged golden patina in the shape of an amphora resting on four hoofed feet and a four-lobed base. The body is decorated in bas-relief with harvest scenes on one side and the profile of Ariadne (Ariadre in Greek) on the other. The handles with masks are topped by horns of plenty. The narrow neck is decorated with garlands of leaves and flowers. The bronze is signed F. Berbedienne (1810-1892) and F. Levillain.
In Greek mythology, Ariadne, daughter of Minos and Pasiphae, is seduced by Theseus. When he is promised to a certain death and must fight the Minotaur in the labyrinth, Ariadne gives him a way to find the exit by entrusting him with a thread to unwind along the way: "Ariadne's thread". After killing the Minotaur and getting out of the labyrinth, Theseus proposed to Ariadne. But, in love with Phaedra (Ariadne's sister), he ends up abandoning Ariadne on the island of Naxos. She was saved by the god of wine, Dionysus, who married her and made her a goddess.
Ferdinand Levillain (1837-1905) was a sculptor, medal maker and engraver who was inspired by antique models. He realized numerous cups, vases and luminaries. He was a student of the sculptor Jouffroy (1806-1882). He made his debut at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1861, where he exhibited until 1903. At the Universal Exhibition of 1867, he was noticed for having made a bronze cup in Greek Revival style. It is from 1871, that Levillain really knows the fame, thanks to his association with the bronzer Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892). Levillain triumphed at the 1878 World's Fair, where he won a gold medal for his antique style works. Later, he received a 1st class medal at the 1884 Salon for a cup entitled "The Elements, the Months and the Seasons", and won a Silver medal at the 1889 Exposition Universelle. Several of Ferdainand Levillain's cups and medals are in the collections of the Musée d'Orsay.
Dim: W: 5,9 in - D: 5,9in - H: 17,3in.
Dim: L:15cm, P:15cm, H:44cm.
Good general condition. The aged golden patina is a choice of the artist.