Sculptor - Pierre Jules Mene
Title - Cheval Libre
Sand Cast Bronze
Atelier Pierre Jules Mene
12 1/4" height by 16" length
(31 cm by 40.5 cm)
Mene was a superb sculptor of horses and here is one of his best works. The single Stallion titled Cheval Libre was adapted by Mene as a separate sculpture from his famous L'Accolade of two Arabian horses courting. Mene's L'Accolade won a medal in 1855 at the Exposition Universelle. Due to it's popularity, the Stallion Tachiani was done on a separate base to create the Cheval Libre,.
The Stallion Cheval Libre works very well on his own and is a fine portrait of a well bred Arab Stallion. He is listed as number 42 in Mene's catalog of sculptures. Mene placed the Stallion on a naturalistic oval base and the composition of this spirited horse makes for an impressive bronze.
This bronze was cast in Mene's own foundry under his supervision in the early 1860s. Our bronze also has the stamp of "Ball, Black & Co. New York" on the back edge of the base which shows it was sold through this fine shop. The Ball, Black & Company operated in New York City from 1851 to 1875, and in 1876 Ball, Black & Company was succeeded by Black, Starr & Frost, they were a high quality retailer for silver and fine arts similar to Tiffany & Co.
A wonderful mid 19th century bronze cast by Mene with a rich dark brown patina, this bronze would enhance any collection. Cheval Libre is a rare model that rarely comes up for sale.