P. J. MENE

Groupe Chevaux Arabes (L’Accolade)

Groupe Chevaux Arabes (L’Accolade)

PIERRE-JULES MENE

1810 - 1879

Title: "L'Accolade" 

Signed P.J. MENE

Dimensions:    Width  21 inches         Height 13 inches         Depth  8 1/4 inches 

Born in Paris on March 25, 1810, P.J. Mene became one of the most important of the Animaliers and received the Legion d'Honneur in 1861.  His work was also admired in Britain where he exhibited at the Great Exhibitions of 1851 and 1862.  In 1838 he established his own foundry in order to cast his work in bronze and made his debut at the Salon with a group entitled "Dog and Fox".  From then until his death he was a regular exhibitor at the Salon and received awards as well as State commissions.  He received a medal at the celebrated Salon of 1848 and received first class medals in 1852 and 1861 for figures of the Arabian horses "Tachiani" and "Nedjebe".

Mene is one of the most widely known of the Animaliers and the sculptor whose work, more than any of the others, set the standard for the Animaliers school. His work shows great originality and an astounding versatility in subject, and much of the work in this genre produced by his son-in-law Cain (Q.V.) and later Animaliers was derived from him.  Although many artists tried, few ever attained the same brilliance or individuality that Mene portrayed.  Examples of his work are preserved in museums all over the world, from Marseilles to Melbourne, including the Louvre and the Ashmolean at Oxford.

This group, Arab Mare and Stallion, Groupe Chevaux Arabes (L’Accolade), was one of Mene’s finest and most successful sculptures.  It was exhibited in wax at the Salon of 1852, in bronze in 1853, and at the Exposition Universelle of 1855.  Showing the individual characteristics superbly, the spirited stallion and the very typical ‘tetchy’ mare, the composition of this group is exceptional.

An example of this work is in the possession of the Louvre Museum, Paris.