"Saint Michael - Emmanuel Frémiet (1824-1910)"Bronze with golden patina
Cast by BARBEDIENNE
Inscribed on the base a date (probably a gift): June 7, 1914
Raised on a red marble base
total height : 61 cm
Aimilar model reproduced in "Emmanuel Frémiet - La main et le multiple", Exhibition at the Museums of Fine Arts of Dijon and Grenoble, 1988, page 130, n ° S.246.
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Emmanuel Frémiet (1824-1910) is the nephew and pupil of sculptor François Rude. Alongside his monumental works commissioned by the state, it is recognized as an excellent realistic animal sculptor. Emmanuel Frémiet devoted mainly to equestrian statues. He started as a scientific lithographer (osteology) and worked in the studio of painters from the morgue. In 1843 he sent to the Salon a gazelle study prelude to a prolific output. His Bear wounded and injured dog acquired by the State for the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris in 1850. During the 1850s, Frémiet product works on the theme of Napoleon III. It exposes bronzes representing bassets of Napoleon III, Ravageot and RavagodeAt 1853. Salon From 1855 to 1859, it performs a series of military subject statuettes for the emperor. He realizes the Napoleon Monument in 1868 and that of Louis of Orleans in 1869 (Château de Pierrefonds). In 1874, Emmanuel Frémiet designed the first equestrian monument of Joan of Arc, erected instead of the Pyramids to Paris, he replaced following reviews proportions with another version in 1900. During this period, he also performs Pan and cubs (Paris, Musée d'Orsay).
At the end of the nineteenth century, inspired a fashion theme Frémiet and other artists: the confrontation between man and beast. A news item reported by the newspaper The Times recounted in a Gabonese village, a bewildered and angry gorilla allegedly abducted and molested a woman, after destroying shacks in 1880. Moreover, the stories of explorers like Alfred Russel Wallace fill the articles and engravings illustrating the newspapers attacking a Malaysian tracker by an orangutan. This theme inspired Frémiet several major works. The Gorilla removing a black woman was initially refused the Salon of 1859 and presented behind a curtain. A new version Gorilla removing a woman receives a medal of honor at the Salon of the Society of French Artists from 1887, it is a member until 1908. This work, known in his time, however, a scandal because it represents a gorilla removing a naked woman, allegedly with a intent to rape, what excited public curiosity. In the same vein, and even more remarkable is the Orangutan strangling a wild Borneo(1895), commissioned by the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, inspired by the stories of Wallace reported with many exaggerations by The Times. This time the animal is a male, and throttling the "wild", he performs an act as impossible, physically and ethologically that the rape of a woman by a gorilla. But art works and generations of visitors to the Museum of the gallery where it is exposed, were horrified by the force emanating from the work.
In 1893, realizes the Frémiet Velázquez Monument to the garden of the Colonnade of the Louvre Palace in Paris, in 1897, the statue of St. Michael slaying the dragon for the boom of the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel.Frémiet was elected member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1892 and succeeds Antoine-Louis Barye as a teacher in Animal Drawing at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. He is a member of the French Artists Society until 1908.