After Francisque Joseph Duret
"Neapolitan Dancer with Tambourine"
"Neapolitan Dancer with Castanets"
pair of pendant patinated bronzes
third or fourth quarter 19th century, cast by Auguste-Maximilien Delafontaine (French, 1813-1892), each with cast signature and foundry inscription on self-base, marked "AD" along edge of base.
h. 17", w. 6" to 6-1/2", d. 5"
Provenance: Private collection, Connecticut.
Notes: Duret was an academically trained sculptor whose most popular and familiar works reveal his deep love and appreciation for the antiquities of the Classical Age. The son of an artist, he trained with his father and studied under Francois-Joseph Bosso, before traveling to Europe where he soon immersed himself in the history, culture, and artistic traditions of the region. The original models for the works presented here (part of his debut exhibition at the Paris Salon of 1838), bear a resemblance in form and composition to the Dancing Satyr, a 1st/2nd century CE Roman sculpture (itself a copy of the 2nd century Hellenistic work), now conserved at the Uffizi Gallery, Rome, and the Dancing Faun, a 2nd century BC Greco-Roman sculpture, now conserved at the National Archeological Museum in Naples. Duret's figures, however, exhibit more freedom from the somewhat controlled postures of his inspiration; his dancers turn, twist and contort, revealing exuberant expressions and easily conveying to the viewers their pleasure and enthusiasm for the dance in which they are so completely engrossed.