Overview

A few of the National Gallery's sculptures were conceived for display outdoors; one of the finest such works is this Companion of Diana. Louis XIV commissioned at least ten sculptured Companions of Diana for the grounds of his beloved Château de Marly, between Paris and Versailles. After his death in 1715, his successor Louis XV installed some of the completed statues in the forests of La Muette, another hunting retreat.

In classical mythology Diana was goddess of the moon and of the hunt. Her woodland companions were nymphs like this one, appropriate denizens for a royal hunting preserve. Lemoyne's Companion, supple and long-limbed, moving with effortless grace and joy, epitomizes the rococo ideal of beauty.

With a dancing step, the girl seems barely to touch the ground as she lifts the leash to signal the beginning of the chase. In amusement and affection she smiles down at her hound and, incidentally at the viewer, who would have seen her on a high pedestal.

Inscription

on pedestal, proper right: j.L. LEMOYNE. PARiSiNVS. FECIT. / 1724

Marks and Labels

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Provenance

Château de la Muette, near Paris, until the late 19th century;[1] sold to (Wildenstein & Co., Inc., Paris, New York, and London); Rodolphe Kann [d. 1905], Paris; (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris); sold 20 November 1908 to Peter A.B. Widener, Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania;[2] inheritance from Estate of Peter A.B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; gift 1942 to NGA.

Exhibition History

Bibliography

1873
Larousse, Pierre. La grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle vol. 10. Paris, 1873: 356.
1923
Réau, Louis. "Etudes sur la sculpture du XVIIIe siècle: Jean-Louis Lemoyne (1665-1755)." La revue de l'art ancien et moderne 43 (1923): 183-196, repro.
1927
Réau, Louis. Une dynastie de sculpteurs au XVIIe siècle: Les Lemoynes. Paris, 1927: 15-17, 30, 34, repro. no. 17.
1932
Réau, Louis. "Les compagnes de Diane." Gazette des beaux-arts 8 (1932): 136-154.
1948
Paintings and Sculpture from the Widener Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1948 (reprinted 1959): 132, repro., as Diana.
1948
Swarzenski, Hanns. "Washington: Neuerwerbungen der Skulpturen Abteilung der National Gallery of Art." Pheobus 2 (1948): 38-42.
1949
Seymour, Charles. Masterpieces of Sculpture from the National Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1949: 182-183, note 50, repro. 154-157, as Diana.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 160, as Diana.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 142, repro., as Diana.
1968
Raggio, Olga. "The Metropolitain Marbles." Art News 67: 46,48,49.
1972
Kalnein, Wend G., and Michael Levey. Art and Architecture of the Eighteenth Century in France. Harmondsworth, 1972: 48-49.
1973
Beaulieu, Michèle. "La Diane d'Anselme Flamen et ses ." La Revue du Louvre 23 (1973): 83-88.
1979
Hodgkinson, Terence. "Companions of Diana at Cliveden." National Trust Studies (1979): 90-98.
1980
Rosasco, Betsy Jean. "Notes on Two Gabriel de Saint-Aubin Drawings and the Statues They Depict." Studies in the History of Art 8 (1980): 55-57, repro.
1981
Seinkewicz, Thomas J. Classical Gods and Heroes in the National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 1981: 36, repro.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 643, no. 1010, repro.
1992
National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 301, repro.
1994
Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1994: 133, repro.
1999
Norman Herz, Katherine A. Holbrow and Shelley G. Sturman. "Marble Sculture in the National Gallery of Art: a Provenance Study." In Max Schvoerer, ed. Archéomatériaux: marbres et autres roches: ASMOSIA IV, Bordeaux, France 9-13 october 1995: actes de la IVème Conférence international de l’Association pour l’étude des marbres et autres roches utilizes dans le passé. Talence, 1999: 101-110.
2000
National Gallery of Art Special Issue. Connaissance des Arts. Paris, 2000:61.
2004
Gopnik, Blake. "A Very Full Week at the National Gallery: Five Full Days of Permanent Pleasure." The Washington Post (December 27, 2004): C1, C2, repro.
2008
Luchs, Alison. "A Marble Hunting Party: The Companions of Diana for Marly." Studies in the History of Art, Symposium Papers: Collecting Sculpture in Early Modern Europe, 70 (2008): 323-341, fig. 1, figs. 2-4 (details).
2011
Wardropper, Ian. European sculpture, 1400-1900, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art . New York, 2011: 165, repro. fig. 44.

Technical Summary

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