PIERRE-JEAN DAVID d'ANGERS (Angers 1788 - 1856 Paris)
Diameter: 6 3/8 inches (16.1 cm)
Signed and dated, bottom center: David / 1838
Inscribed, left: Paul Huet / PICTOR
By descent, family of Paul Huet
Pierre-Jean David D’Angers was arguably the most important sculptor France produced at the beginning of the 19th century. Among other achievements, he is renowned for the Galerie des Contemporains, his personal pantheon of great men and women in medallic form that he produced during his lifetime. David’s first medallion, executed in 1815, depicted the French musician Ferdinand Hérold (1791-1833), a fellow pensionnaire at the French Academy in Rome. David’s galerie would eventually number over five hundred portraits including politicians, writers, artists, musicians, composers and actors, inspired - in part - by David’s ardent republican sympathies.
Most of the medallions are precisely dated, ranging from 1828 to 1851. The casts were produced by the founders Richard frères, Eck et Durand and Thiébault et fils.
In the last decades before Louis-Jacques Daguerre’s (1787-1851) invention
of photography, David’s Galerie des Contemporains created a virtual pantheon of the international Romantic Movement in cast bronze.