Recent additions to the Musée Girodet in Montargis

1. Carle Elshoecht (1797-1856)
Angélique-Félicité Bosio, Marchioness de la Carte, 1836
Bronze - 22 x 20 cm (medallion)
Montargis, Musée Girodet
Photo : Hubert Duchemin

29/5/09 – Acquisitions and deposits – Montargis, Musée Girodet – Now that the extension has been made official and surveys are to start, the Musée de Montargis continues to pursue its policy of acquisitions based on two strong points : Girodet (and his students) and Romantic sculpture around the figure of Henri de Triqueti.

We will begin this article by mentioning the donation, made by Hubert Duchemin in memory of Stéphane Deschamps, of a small bronze medallion by Carl Elshoecht, representing Angélique-Félicité Bosio, Marchioness de la Carte (ill. 1).
A student of his father, a wood sculptor in the Navy, then of Baron François-Joseph Bosio, Elshoecht is one of the least known artists in the generation of Romantic sculptors. The medallion donated to Montargis, signed and dated 1836, represents the daughter of Baron Bosio, then 28 years old. Her life was rather dissolute, first married at the age of 14 (!) to Count Charles-Louis-Philippe-Marie Thibaut de la Carte, she later left her husband to become the mistress of the writer and critic Jules Janin by whom she had a daughter. After breaking off with Janin in 1838, she held a salon in Paris and had an affair with the writer Nestor Roqueplan, the brother of the painter Camille Roqueplan.
Although David d’Angers was the most prolific of the artists in this domain, medallions are a genre which was practiced by most of the Romantic sculptors. The originality of the one by Elshoecht comes not only from its scalloped outline, but also its accompanying bronze frame.

2. Carlo Marochetti (1805-1867)
Reducted model of the Equestrian
Monument to Queen Victoria in Glasgow
, vers 1854
Bronze - 64 x 56 x 18 cm
Montargis, Musée Girodet
Photo : Musée Girodet

The reduced model for the Equestrian Monument to Queen Victoria in Glasgow by Carlo Marochetti (ill. 2) has just been acquired by the Musée Girodet. Marochetti presents many similarities to Henri de Triqueti : he also was a French sculptor, a baron, held an Italian last name [1] and worked in England for the queen. Furthermore, they both had personal fortunes thus explaining why they did not have their works edited in smaller bronze versions as they did not rely on this for a source of income.
Marochetti left France permanently in 1848 to settle in England where he became the favorite sculptor of the royal couple. In 1837, he had executed the equestrian statue for Emmanuel-Philibert of Savoy in Turin thus acquiring a certain celebrity and probably a decisive element in the choice of sculptor in 1849 for the commission of a monument to Victoria celebrating the queen’s visit to Glasgow. The main difference between the monument, inaugurated in 1854, and the reduced model, is that the scepter held by the queen was replaced with a standard.
The Musée Girodet already owned a bronze by Marochetti representing an Arab weeping over his dead charger dating from his French years as an artist. The equestrian monument to Queen Victoria thus fits in naturally with the collection while at the same time reflecting the intention to create “a section for English sculptures from the years 1850-1870, with the purpose of illuminating the second half of Triqueti’s career.”

3. Henri de Triqueti (1803-1874)
Portrait of Juliette Ferrus, 1860
Marble - Diameter : 32.5 cm
Montargis, Musée Girodet
Photo : Musée Girodet

Last year the museum purchased a marble portrait, in relief, by Henri de Triqueti. It represents Juliette Ferrus (ill. 3), the grand-daughter of the alienist doctor Guillaume Ferrus whom Triqueti met thanks to Adolphe Thiers who was his patient.
Other works resulted from the friendship between the doctor and the sculptor, notably a pair of bronze candelabra, a gift from Triqueti to Ferrus in 1838 as well as a portrait of the latter in medallion shape, dating from 1839.
There are several examples of this type of marble bust in relief, of a tondo shape, in the sculptor’s oeuvre and generally dating from the 1850’s : that of Blanche Triqueti in 1852 (private collection), of Girodet in 1853 (Montargis, Musée Girodet) and the double bust of Florence and Alice Cambell in 1856 (a terracotta study held at the Musée Girodet). The Portrait of Juliette Ferrus is from 1860.

4. Henri de Triqueti (1803-1874)
Hunting Vase, 1837
Bronze - 80 x 54.5 cm
Montargis, Musée Girodet
(deposite of the Mobilier National)
Photo : Musée Girodet

In concluding this review of sculpture acquisitions, we would like to mention the deposit by the Mobilier National of a bronze vase by Triqueti. While our article, in French, on the deposits by national museums placed elsewhere continues to raise lively reactions, we should point out the exemplary manner in which this institution, in charge of furnishing government palaces, has chosen to manage its heritage by practicing a generous policy of lending to museums.
The history of this Hunting Vase is extraordinary. At the Triqueti exhibition in 2007 (see our review), only a preparatory drawing belonging to the Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts had been presented. The final work, commissioned by Thiers in 1837, had indeed disappeared since then. Thanks to the catalogue for this retrospective Yves Badetz was able to identify the lost vase. It had been recovered from the basement of the Ministry of Interior in 1980 and had been stored at the Mobilier National. Today, it is fortunately on deposit at the Musée Girodet [2] where it will join other similar objects, such as the Ewer of Hope, Patience, Peace and Justice of 1838.

5. Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson (1767-1824)
The Castle of Montargis (from a sketchbook), 1810
Dimensions of the sketchbook : 21 x 28 cm
Montargis, Musée Girodet
Photo : Musée Girodet

This list of additions to the Musée Girodet would not be complete without evoking the museum’s namesake. A sketchbook illustrating views of the château de Montargis (ill. 1) has in fact just been purchased.
This building constructed in the 12th century was turned into a fortress by Charles V. Restored during the 16th century, ceded to Philippe d’Orléans in 1661, it was abandoned and left practically in ruins in the 18th century. After Girodet tried hopelessly to buy it, the castel was finally destroyed to recover the materials. The drawings in this sketchbook were done in 1810 [3] .

Version française

Didier Rykner, vendredi 29 mai 2009


[1] However, Triqueti was born in France whereas Marochetti was a naturalized citizen.

[2] A 5-year, renewable, deposit, as is the norm. We can only hope that it will become permanent.

[3] We would like to thank Richard Dagorne who provided us with most of the historical elements for the works described here.

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