PIERRE-JEAN DAVID D'ANGERS (Angers 1788 - 1856 Paris)
Alphonse-Marie-Louis de Prat de Lamartine (1790 - 1869)
Cast bronze with dark brown and golden patina
Diameter: 5 ⅛ inches (13 cm)
Signed and dated David/1830 bottom center
Inscribed Alphonse/De Lamartine
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 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.
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.
Alphonse-Marie-Louis de Prat de Lamartine is remembered as a poet, writer and statesman. A member of the French provincial nobility, he achieved fame as a poet with Les Méditations Poétiques of 1820, was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1825 and was elected to the Académie Française in 1829. In 1835, after a trip to Lebanon, Syria and the Holy Land, he published his first great work of prose, Voyage en Orient. Lamartine’s political career was short but significant. As Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1848, he was instrumental in establishing the Second Republic of France and ensuring the continuation of the Tricolore as the nation’s flag. After his retirement from politics, Lamartine returned to literary pursuits, writing on a wide range of subjects, including history, literature, and criticism.