Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin 1832 - Paris 1883
La Défense Nationale de Paris
The National Defence of Paris
Dimensions (HxWxD): 38 3⁄4 x 12 5⁄8 in.
on front of base: G. Doré
Acc. No.: 1969.16
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Photo credit: Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College 2010
- England (?)
- New York, large departement store, purchased by Mr. Gropper
- 1969, Cambridge, purchased by the museum from the Gropper Gallery
- Museum's website, January 20, 2013
- 1930 Dezé
Louis Dezé, Gustave Doré: Bibliographie et catalogue complet de l'oeuvre, Paris, ed. Marcel Seheur, 1930, p. 157
- 1990 Neiswander
Judith A. Neiswander, "French Nineteenth-Century Bronzes in the Collection of the Wellesley College Museum of Art", not published
- 1969 Cambridge
Gustave Doré, Cambridge, The Gropper Gallery, February 1969, no. 51
The Wellesley College Centennial Benefit, Chicago, Richard Gray Gallery, April 26-May 15, 1974
French Art from the Nineteenth Century, Wellesley College Museum, November 12, 1982-January 23, 1983
- Museum's label text, 2011:
A well-known and prolific illustrator, Doré turned to sculpture in the last decade of his life. This work is a bronze reduction from a plaster original; the composition was conceived originally for a contest sponsored by the municipal government of Paris. The contest was announced in an effort to find a suitable replacement for a sculpture which had been destroyed during the Franco-Prussian War, in Courbevoie, on the outskirts of Paris. Although Doré did not win the commission, his model was later cast in bronze, perhaps posthumously. Barrias and Rodin also submitted entries; Barrias's work was chosen and completed in 1883.
The bronze, typical of Doré's last sculpture, shows an allegorical female figure standing behind a man dressed in contemporary clothing. The baskets of fruit, the cannonball, and the gunshell are probably references to the siege of Paris in 1871.