Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pierre Julien and Augustin Pajou seated figures

The ‘Psyche Abandoned’, ‘Adriadne Abandoned’ and ‘The Bacchante’, by Augustin Pajou (1730-1809) that The French Site has chosen today are of interest. All in very similar pose they show significant differences. The difference in size and the quality of photograph have to be taken into account. Lighting and foreshortening can destroy a carefully considered opinion.

This photo from the Louvre of Adriadne above is perhaps a better photo than the one on the French site but it still indicates a proportional problem. Her head is too small? (A mistake? Like Michelangelo’s David head is too big?) It certainly has less appeal that the famous Psyche above it. No errors of proportion for her.

It is interesting that in Psyche she is without any clothing where the others are clutching at a stitch or two to cover up just a little!

Pierre Julien who lived at much the same time and produced the beautiful Amalthaea (goatgirl) at the top at the time of the French Revolution, has much the same pose but reversed. Psyche is 5’ 11’(178 cm) and Goatgirl is 5’ 8’ (170 cm) in height. My thanks to Taschen who produced one of the best coffee table books on sculpture –this one.

I knew I had a picture of the girl with the Tamberine!

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