Benoît Massou, Anselme Flamen, and Nicolas Rebillé|
Benoît Massou (sculptor)
French, 1633 - 1684
Anselme Flamen (sculptor)
French, 1647 - 1717
Nicolas Rebillé (sculptor)
French, active 1732 - 1751
A Garden Allegory: The Dew and Zephyr Cultivating Flowers, 1683/1732
overall: 180.5 x 77.2 x 67.3 cm (71 1/16 x 30 3/8 x 26 1/2 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
Object 2 of 8
The small watering pitcher held by the female figure identifies her as a personification of the dew; the butterfly-winged boy is Zephyr, the gentle west wind. The sculpture may have been designed for the gardens of the royal pavilion of Louis XIV's chateau at Marly, but was apparently never installed there. In 1762 it was at Louis XV's Chateau de la Muette. An inventory described the work as having been begun by Massou, continued by Flamen, and completed by Rebillé. The problems of attribution are still being studied, complicated by the fact that Flamen's and Massou's sons were also sculptors and that there were two contemporary artists named Rebillé, neither very well known.
The sculptures made for Marly were noted for a new freedom in style. The figure of Dew shares their easy movement and intimacy, but her elongated proportions, light drapery, and supple grace suggest that she may have been the work of the next generation of sculptors.
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