"La Renommee Equestre"
bronze dore relief plaque
cast signature at lower right, a "Thiebaut Freres/Paris" foundry mark lower left, set within an integral beveled red marble support.
bronze h. 24-3/4", w. 17-1/2", d. 7-1/2", overall h. 31-1/2"
Literature: Pierre Kjellberg. Bronzes of the 19th Century: Dictionary of Sculptors. Atglen: Schiffer Publishing, Co., 1994, same model illustrated, p. 228.
Notes: While still a student at l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1872, Coutan was the recipient of the prestigious Prix de Rome, which afforded him the opportunity to study in Italy for several years. Upon his return to Paris, he had his debut at the Paris Salon to much attention and acclaim. One of the most sought-after artists for grand public commissions, Coutan was known for his elegant allegorical sculptures. The wonderful bas-relief plaque presented here of an allegorical depiction of victory as a winged figure on horseback reveals the sculptor at his most masterful; the taut yet subtle muscles of the horse's legs, the delineated feathers of the wings, and the delicate modeling which creates an interplay of light and shadow, creating a sense of depth and motion. Coutan was named a professor of art at l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1900.