The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Elements Paying Tribute to Friendship (Les Élements rendant homage a l'Amitié)

Object Details

Title:

The Elements Paying Tribute to Friendship (Les Élements rendant homage a l'Amitié)

Artist/Maker:

Louis-Simon Boizot (French, 1743 - 1809)

Culture:

French

Place:

France (Place Created)

Date:

about 1783

Medium:

Marble

Object Number:

2003.1

Dimensions:

43 × 53.2 × 6.5 cm (16 15/16 × 20 15/16 × 2 9/16 in.)

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Object Description

The identities of the allegorical figures in this marble relief are suggested by the worlds they inhabit--a swirling mix of clouds, flames, waves, and earth. Together they represent the four elements paying tribute to Friendship. To the left, Friendship, who wears a wreath of myrtle, stands on a pedestal with her arm wrapped around an elm tree stump. Cybele, who personifies Earth, leans over two kneeling lions. Triton and Nereid emerge from the sea, representing Water. Zephyr, the Wind, reaches toward Jupiter--who, in the form of an eagle, holds a bolt of lighting that symbolizes Fire.

In this sculpture, Louis-Simon Boizot varied the depth of carving to simulate space and physical presence. The foreground--the lions and Cybele, Nereid with her offering of sea treasures--pops forward. The sky with Zephyr and Jupiter, the drapery behind Friendship, and even the lions' rear ends, appear to recede into the background. Considering that the depth of this relief is less than three inches, the illusion of dimensionality is remarkable. The frame carved as part of the sculpture, and the fact that the figures don't protrude beyond it, however, evokes two-dimensional media such as painting.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1979 - 1991

Cyril Humphris, S.A. (London, England.), sold to Daniel Katz, Ltd., 1991.

1991

Daniel Katz Ltd. (London, England), sold to Friedrich-Christian (Mick) Flick, 1991.

1991 - 2001

Friedrich-Christian (Mick) Flick, German, born 1944, sold to Daniel Katz, Ltd., 2001.

2001 - 2003

Daniel Katz Ltd. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Salon of 1783 (1783)
  • Salon, Palais du Louvre (Paris), 1873
Louis-Simon Boizot, 1743-1809 : Sculpteur du Roi et Directeur de l'Atelier de Sculpture à la Manufacture de Sèvres. (October 23, 2001 to February 24, 2002)
  • Musée Lambinet (Versailles), October 23, 2001 to February 24, 2002
Bibliography
Bibliography

Explication des peintures, sculptures et gravures, de messieurs de l'Académie royale, exh. cat. (Paris, 1783), no. 252.

La critique est aisée, mais l’art est difficile (Paris: n.p., 1783), p. 223.

Apelle au sallon. Seconde édition; revue, corrigée et augmentée (Paris: s.n., 1783), p. 25.

Réponse à toutes les critiques sur les tableaux du sallon de 1783 , par un frère de la charité (Paris, n.p., 1783), p. 62.

L'Impartialité au Sallon: dédiée à messieurs les critiques présens et à venir (Paris, n.p., 1783), p. 35.

Sans-quartier au sallon: Avec un précis de la vie de sans-souci […] (Amsterdam : n.p., 1783), p. 47.

Mémoires secrets pour servir à l’histoire de la République des Lettres en France depuis 1762 jusqu'à nos jours. 36 vols. (London: John Adamson, 1777-1789), t. 23 (1784).

Bellier de la Chavignerie, Émile and Louis Auvray. Dictionnaire général des artistes de l'École française. 3 vols. (Paris, 1882), p. 114.

Lami, Stanislas. Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l'école française au dix-huitième siècle. 2 vols. (Paris: H. Champion, 1910-1911; Nendeln, Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint, 1970), vol. 1 (1910), p. 89.

Laverack, Peter, ed. Daniel Katz Ltd 1968-1993: A Catalogue Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Dealing in European Sculpture and Works of Art (London: Daniel Katz Ltd, 1992), p. 50.

Boizot, Louis-Simon. Louis-Simon Boizot, 1743-1809 : Sculpteur du roi et directeur de l'atelier de sculpture à la manufacture de Sèvres, exh. cat. (Paris: Somogy; Versailles: Musée Lambinet, 2001), p. 123, no. 27, ill. (entry by Th. Picquenard).

Zock, Katherine. Daniel Katz: European Sculpture, exh. cat. (New York: Daniel Katz Ltd., 2001), pp. 138-43, no. 23.

Bückling, Maraik, and Guilhem Scherf, eds. Jean-Antoine Houdon. Die sinnliche Skulptur, exh. cat. (Frankfurt am Main: Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, 2009), p. 134, ill.