Givisiez, Switzerland 1836 - Castellammare, Italy 1879

Maker: Thiébaut frères, Fumière et Gavignot Successeurs

La Pythie

Pythian Sybil

after 1869-1870



Dimensions (HxWxD): 31 12 x 12 in.

signed, engraved after casting, right front side of self base: Marcello
founder's mark below signature, cold stamp: Thiébaut Frères / Fumière et / Gavignot Srs [Successeurs]

Acc. No.: 1973-251-1

Credit Line: Purchased with the Fiske Kimball Fund and the Marie Kimball Fund, 1973

Photo credit: Philadelphia Museum of Art

© Artist:


  • 1973, Purchased with the Fiske Kimball Fund and the Marie Kimball Fund


  • Museum's website, 3 December 2011
  • 1995 Rishel
    Joseph J. Rishel, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections, 1995, p. 194

Related works

  • Bronze (twice life-size) in the Paris Opéra.


  • Museum's website, 3 December 2011:
    Joseph J. Rishel, Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 194:
    Like the contemporary writer George Sand, Adèle d'Affry, widow of the Duke of Castiglione-Colonna, gave her name a sexual shift when she exhibited and signed her work "Marcello." She was one of the most celebrated women artists of her day, receiving several commissions from the French state during the Second Empire (1852-70) and exhibiting regularly at the Paris Salon. Her artistic biases were very much those of her close friend Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux with sixteenth-century Italian sculpture, particularly that of Michelangelo, as their standard. Marcello often did figures of heroic women, and in the 1870 Salon showed a Pythian Sibyl, one of the mythical seers of antiquity. Charles Garnier commissioned it in bronze at twice the size of life for his new opera house in Paris, where it is placed as if in a grotto, the snakes and lizards rising up from a pool of water that casts an eerie up-light on the twisting figure. This bronze is a reduction of the one in the Paris Opéra.