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.
on pedestal, proper right: j.L. LEMOYNE. PARiSiNVS. FECIT. / 1724
Marks and Labels
Château de la Muette, near Paris, until the late 19th century; 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; 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.
- Larousse, Pierre. La grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle vol. 10. Paris, 1873: 356.
- 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.
- Réau, Louis. Une dynastie de sculpteurs au XVIIe siècle: Les Lemoynes. Paris, 1927: 15-17, 30, 34, repro. no. 17.
- Réau, Louis. "Les compagnes de Diane." Gazette des beaux-arts 8 (1932): 136-154.
- Paintings and Sculpture from the Widener Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1948 (reprinted 1959): 132, repro., as Diana.
- Swarzenski, Hanns. "Washington: Neuerwerbungen der Skulpturen Abteilung der National Gallery of Art." Pheobus 2 (1948): 38-42.
- 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.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 160, as Diana.
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 142, repro., as Diana.
- Raggio, Olga. "The Metropolitain Marbles." Art News 67: 46,48,49.
- Kalnein, Wend G., and Michael Levey. Art and Architecture of the Eighteenth Century in France. Harmondsworth, 1972: 48-49.
- Beaulieu, Michèle. "La Diane d'Anselme Flamen et ses
." La Revue du Louvre 23 (1973): 83-88.
- Hodgkinson, Terence. "Companions of Diana at Cliveden." National Trust Studies (1979): 90-98.
- 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.
- Seinkewicz, Thomas J. Classical Gods and Heroes in the National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 1981: 36, repro.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 643, no. 1010, repro.
- National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 301, repro.
- Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1994: 133, repro.
- 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.
- National Gallery of Art Special Issue. Connaissance des Arts. Paris, 2000:61.
- 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.
- 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).
- Wardropper, Ian. European sculpture, 1400-1900, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art . New York, 2011: 165, repro. fig. 44.
Work of Art
Work of Art
- Event Name
- March 1–June 1
- Mon, Tues, and Wed at 1:00
- March 5, 2012 at 2:00
March 7, 2012 at 4:00
- East Building, Auditorium
- Name of docent
- 60 minutes
- Registration for this event begins on April 1, 2012 at noon.
- Download the program notes (100k)
- Italian Collection