French Sculpture Census

photo credit : Yale University Art Gallery /
artist © : public domain

COUSTOU, Nicolas
Lyon, Rhône 1658 - Paris 1733



29 3/4 x 41 5/16 x 18 1/2

Acc. No. : 1962.24
Credit Line : Director's Purchase Fund and gift of Susan Morse Hilles

New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Art Gallery


  • 1962, Director's Purchase Fund and gift of Susan Morse Hilles


  • Museum's website, 22 April 2010 and August 2017
  • 1972 Neilson
    Katherine Neilson and Andrew Carnduff Ritchie, Selected Paintings and Sculpture from the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972, no. 125, ill.


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.