Description According to classical mythology, Zeus was captivated by Ganymede, the most beautiful human. In the form of an eagle, the king of the gods abducted the youth. Ganymede subsequently served as Zeus's cupbearer. (This statue would originally have held a cup in its left hand.) In 1743, King Louis XV commissioned this statue for the gardens of Versailles. Although a plaster model of the figure was exhibited two years later at the Paris Salon (a state-sponsored exhibition), Francin never finished the marble. At the request of the count of Maurepas (the chief adviser to Louis XVI), Nicolas-François Dupré gave the final touches to the statue in 1777-87.
Provenance King Louis XV, France, 1743, by commission [Orry as agent]; Comte de Maurepas, Pontchartrain, 1777, by commission; Comte d'Havrincourt [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Museum at Valenciennes, Germany, [date of acquisition unknown] by misappropriation; Museum at Cambrai, Germany [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Comte L. d'Havrincourt [date and mode of acquisition unkown]; A. Seligmann, Rey and Company, New York and Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sadie Jones (Mrs. Henry Walters), New York, 1931, by inheritance; Mrs. Henry Walters Sale, New York, May 3, 1941, no. 1379; Mrs. Ralph K. Robertston, New York City, 1941, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, January 3, 1946, by gift.
Credit Gift of Mrs. Ralph K. Robertston in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Martin, 1946
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