After Pierre Jules Mêne (French, 1810-1879)
Groupe Chevaux Arabes No. 1 (ou Accolade No. 1)
Signed P.J. Mêne and inscribed "F. BARBEDIENNE FONDEUR"
Size in inches: 12.8 h x 21.5 w
Price upon request
Mêne's group of an Arab mare and stallion, known today as L'Accolade, was first exhibited in red wax with a thin black patina at the Salon of 1852, entitled Tachiani and Nedjébé, chevaux arabes. The following year a bronze version was exhibited, and in 1855 the wax was re-submitted to the Exposition Universelle, alongside two of Mêne's other works, and won a medal.
Modelled at his studio on the rue du Faubourg-du-Temple and listed as no.27 in the Susse catalogue, L'Accolade was to become one of Mêne's most celebrated works and was cast in three sizes, the present model being an example of the largest. Later, both the Susse foundry and the Colebrookdale and Falkirk foundries in Britain edited the model. The model's popularity led Mêne to adapt the horses as separate works: Tachiani became Cheval Libre and Nedjébé was altered to become both Jument arabe avec harnachement and Cheval de spahi au piquet.
Mêne moved his studio to an hôtel on the rue de l'Entrepôt in 1857, which became a well-known meeting place for sculptors, painters and musicians. He was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour on 2nd July 1861, and was awarded the first class medal for the second time in his life in the same year. After his death, the contents of Mêne's studio passed to his son-in-law, the animalier sculptor Auguste-Nicholas Cain (1822-1894), whose sons Georges and Henri donated the original wax model of L'Accolade to the state in 1898. It is now in the Louvre (RF1205).
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