French Sculpture Census

crédits photo : Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington
© artiste : public domain

PRIEUR, Barthélémy
Berzieux, Marne 1536 - Paris 1611

La Justice
Justice

1610
marbre

statue
avec la base : 181,5 x 64,3 x 49,2

N° d'inv. : 1943.4.86
Credit Line : Samuel H. Kress Collection

Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, The National Gallery of Art

www.nga.gov

Historique

  • Juvisy-sur-Orge, Essonne, Comte de Montessay
  • Paris, le sculpteur Jean Esprit Marcellin (1821-1884)
  • Paris, Edward M. Hodgkins
  • 1927, 16 mai, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, vente, n.71
  • avant 1940, New York, Duveen Brothers Inc.
  • 1941, New York, acquis par la Fondation Samuel H. Kress Foundation
  • 1943, don à la National Gallery of Art, Washington

Bibliographie

  • Museum's website, 22 July 2011
  • 1941 New York Herald Tribune
    Royal Cortissoz, "Certain Figures in French Sculpture", New York Herald Tribune, 5 January 1941, VI 8
  • 1945 NGA Washington
    Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1945 (reprinted 1947, 1949), p. 201, repr., as Allegory of Victory by Germain Pilon
  • 1959 NGA Washington
    Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959, p. 441, repr., as Allegory of Victory by Germain Pilon.
  • 1965 NGA Washington
    Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965, p. 164, as Allegory of Victory by Germain Pilon
  • 1968 NGA Washington
    European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968, p. 145, repr., as Allegory of Victory by Germain Pilon
  • 1976 Middeldorf
    Ulrich Middeldorf, Sculptures from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools XIV-XIX Century, London, 1976, p. 94, repr fig. 165-167
  • 1981 Bresc-Bautier
    Geneviève Bresc-Bautier, "Justice et Paix: Le tombeau de Christophe de Thou par Barthélemy Prieur", La Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France 1, février 1981, p. 10-18, repr.
  • 1990 U.S. Department of Transportation
    "People: Poet Among Us." Headquarters Intercom: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (10 April 1990), repr.
  • 1994 NGA Washington
    Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1994, p. 177, repr.

Oeuvres en rapport

Oeuvre de Prieur très proche du marbre de l'Allégorie de la Victoire par Germain Pilon, XVIe siècle.
La Justice, bronze, par Prieur, Monument du coeur du connétable de Montmorency, Musée du Louvre.
La Justice, marbre, par Prieur, Saint-Denis.

Commentaire



Museum's website, 22 July 2011:
Holding a sword and olive branch, this figure represents Justice. It was commissioned to decorate a monument in which the hearts of French king Henry IV and his queen, Marie de'Medici, were entombed at the Jesuit College of La Flèche.
Though the project was never completed, a drawing for it indicates that this figure, placed on the right corner, would have gazed in the direction of the king and queen, whose statues were planned for the center. This is the only figure from the monument known today and may have been finished later by another artist. That would explain the differences between this work and others by Prieur, which tend, for example, to have more voluminous drapery than Justice's form-fitting doublet. Her idealized features, smooth surfaces, and dignified, still pose are all characteristic of the classicizing taste in French sculpture during the early 1600s.
While the sword that the figure holds is a common attribute of Justice, the olive branch is more often associated with Peace. Their combination here may suggest that France, after decades of bloody religious wars between Protestant Hugenots and Catholics, wished to see peace as an aspect of justice.