French Sculpture Census

crédits photo : Yale University Art Gallery /
© artiste : public domain

COUSTOU, Nicolas
Lyon, Rhône 1658 - Paris 1733


pierre calcaire

75.6 x 104.9 x 47

N° d'inv. : 1962.24
Credit Line : Director's Purchase Fund and gift of Susan Morse Hilles

New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Art Gallery


  • 1962, Fonds d'acquisition du Directeur et don de Susan Morse Hilles


  • Museum's website, 22 April 2010


Museum's website, 22 April 2010:
This type of figure, seated on the ground and accompanied by identifying objects (the dolphin and trident in this piece signify Neptune), derives from Hellenistic prototypes. It was especially popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, when it was made in all media from monumental stone to gilded bronze and porcelain. With different accessories, it might represent a river god, a continent, or one of the four seasons. It is a clear statement of Baroque form and movement in space, expression through light and shadow more than anatomical accuracy and line. Enlarged, it would serve handsomely on a fountain or public monument.