Diana by Alexandre Falguière
Alexandre Falguière (1831-1900) was one of the most successful sculptors in Paris when Lucien Henry was an art student. His republican subjects adorned the Pantheon, the Paris Opera House and the Arc de Triomphe. He made Diana, the Roman goddess of women and the moon, when a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Diana exemplifies the public art of the 1880s. Falguière’s sensuous brand of classicism appealed to the crowds who annually flocked to the Paris Salon, the barometer of official taste.As a member of the French Academy, Falguière was considered the heir to the grand tradition of European sculpture. Like much of Lucien Henry’s work, the statue casts a modern young woman as a mythological goddess to embody civic virtue.His legendary statue Resistance, modelled in snow on the ramparts of Paris during the siege of 1870, was an inspiration to the National Guard in their impossible attempt to hold out against the advancing Prussian army.
Lent by the John Schaeffer collection