AFTER GUILLAUME COUSTOU THE ELDER (FRENCH, 1677-1746): A PAIR OF LATE 19TH CENTURY FRENCH BRONZE MODELS OF ‘THE MARLEY HORSES’
the rearing horses each being restrained by a semi-clad handler, on a naturalistic bases signed ‘COUSTOU’,
55cm high (2)
Guillaume Coustou the Elder was a French Sculptor and academic. He won the Colbert prize which awarded him a four year scholarship at the French Academy in Rome, however according to legend he soon left the academy and wandered homeless around the streets of Rome for some time. On his return to Paris the Roman influence was materialised in his monumental sculptures of the horse tamers, now known as the Marly Horses. Coustou’s design reinvented the theme of the colossal Roman marbles in the Piazza Quirinale, Rome; and the Marly Horses take their name from Louis XVI’s royal hunting lodge of that name. At Marly the notoriously private king could escape from the vast construction at Versailles, for Marly was large enough only to accommodate the royal hunting party.