Peter the Great on horseback after Falconet
Spectacular finely chased ormolu equestrian statue depicting Emperor Peter the Great (1672-1725) as Caesar, based on the original by Étienne-Maurice FALCONET (1716-1791). The monarch rides in the antique style, i.e. without stirrups, pointing at the Neva with his raised right arm. Magnificent momentum and theatrical effectiveness in a work that combines the immediate simplicity of a classical language with a sense of balance, movement and grandeur.
The whole piece rests on an imposing counter-terrace of blackened wood and rich ornamentation of chased and gilded bronze.
French work from the mid-19th century, circa 1850.
History: This equestrian statue of Peter the Great, which stands on what is now Senate Square in St Petersburg, was unveiled during the reign of Empress Catherine II (1729-1796), who wanted to honour her glorious predecessor in this way. Although the work is attributed to the sculptor Étienne-Maurice Falconet (1716-1791), the face of Peter the Great is the work of the artist Marie-Anne Collot (1748-1821), who accompanied her master, Falconet, on his trip to Russia in 1766.
She modelled the face of the deceased emperor after his death mask and various portraits she found in St Petersburg. The statue, originally cast in 1775 by Emelian Khaïlov, was not completed until 1777 due to a casting accident. It was unveiled on 7 August 1782, but without the artist, who had returned to France four years earlier.
Height: 60 cm – Length: 56.5 cm – Depth: 30 cm