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Probably French, Fame

Key facts
Full title Fame
Artist Probably French
Date made possibly 19th century
Medium and support Bronze, hollow cast
Dimensions 166 × 144 × 87 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Sir Herbert Cook, Bt, through the Art Fund in memory of Sir Francis Cook, Bt, 1925
Inventory number NG4105
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Probably French

A life-size female nude with outspread wings alights upon a cloud, which is blown from a mask’s mouth. The mask is of Boreas, the Greek god of the north wind and of winter. In her outstretched right arm, she holds a long trumpet to her lips. In her left hand, she holds a shorter trumpet.

This bronze sculpture was probably made in France during the nineteenth century as a replica of a bronze of the same subject by Pierre Biard (1559–1601), La Renommée (Fame), which was made around 1597. Biard’s sculpture (now in the Louvre, Paris) was commissioned for a funerary monument. It is modelled on Giambologna’s bronze sculpture of the Roman god Mercury, which was made around 1580. Biard may have seen a cast of one of the four versions of this sculpture when he travelled to Rome between 1577 and 1580.

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