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Diana Jean Alexandre Joseph Falguière


Jean Alexandre Joseph Falguière Toulouse 1831 – 1900 Paris

Culture French
Date model: ca. 1882; cast: ca. 1890
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique bronze

42.5 × 37 × 26 cm

Inventory number 80.1.U
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view Hungarian National Gallery Building D, First Floor, From Delacroix to Vasarely – Highlights from the Collection of International Art after 1800, Baroque Hall

Alexandre Falguière was one of the most celebrated french sculptors in the second half of the nineteenth century. The full-figured, life-size statue of Diana, the Roman goddess of hunting, is considered one of his best-known works. The statue, presented at the 1882 exhibition at the Salon in Paris, was both a success and a scandal at the same time, as many critics complained that the artist did not portray the goddess in an idealised way. Instead of following classical tradition, Falguière opted for a realistic depiction of the female body, accentuating Diana’s human character by emphasising her natural proportions and buxom charms, considered vulgar by many.
Nevertheless, the artist produced several variations on the same theme, including in one of his (relatively rare) paintings, and his masterpiece also became extremely popular as a bust. Only the crescent adorning the forehead tells us that we are looking at Diana, but as the body is not present here to distract us from the goddess’s unidealised facial features, the bust’s defiant and radiant profile shines through to full effect.

Anna Zsófia Kovács

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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