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BRONZE SCULPTURE - Caucasian Warrior

Place of Origin: Russia

Date: 1851

Overall: 520mm (20 inches)

Reference: 453

Status: Available

Full Description:

This stunning bronze sculpture by the French artist Napoleon Jacques depicts a Caucasian mountaineer standing fully armed. It was modelled in 1851 and cast the same year – presumably in St Petersburg, where the artist lived until the end of 1858. Napoleon Jacques created multiple versions of this soldier: a similar sculpture cast sometime between 1850-1870 at the Felix Chopin foundry in St Petersburg is titled Caucasion Warrior and likewise depicts a standing soldier, this time with his left hand leaning on the hilt of his sword. Another bronze with a slightly different patina, probably a copy of the Chopin work, is preserved in the State Hermitage Museum of St Petersburg under an Unknown Artist label[1].

The present iteration of the Caucasian mountaineer is richly detailed, with incredible attention given to the texture of his clothes and mail-coat.  The soldier is well armed, too. He carries a holstered pistol, a kindjal dagger (an example of which is presented in this catalogue[2]), and a shashka sabre[3].

Napoleon Jacques is the author of the monument to Peter The Great that was erected in Kronstadt in 1842. He is known as the very first sculptor to have switched from the classic form to a daily realism, depicting ordinary people and genre scenes in small bronze statuary. As a foreigner living and working in Russia, he influenced the likes of Nikolay Lieberich, Evgeny Lanceray and Vasiliy Grachev in the early 1870s – artists who took, developed and realised the style pioneered by Jacques and made it contemporary and popular. Images of Russian scenery (such as hunting scenes) were their main focus, along with portraits of people from the Caucasus.

Provenance

European art market

 

[1] Yurij A. Miller, Caucasian Arms from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The Art of Weaponry in Caucasus and Transcaucasia in the 18th and 19th Centuries, Devantier, Næstved [Denmark], 2000.

[2] See item number 14.

[3] See a similar example in this catalogue, item number 15.

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