Description Louis (1661-1711), as eldest son and heir of the French king Louis XIV, bore the title "grand dauphin." He died before he could take the throne, as did his son, but his grandson became Louis XV. In these well-known companion pieces (with Walters 27.414), of which there are other versions, the dauphin is shown with his mother, Marie-Thérèse of Austria (1638-1683), suggesting that the initial pair was commissioned as a gift for the king. The bronzes are later reductions cast from that initial pair and were surely intended as presents. Other collections with the same companion pieces in bronze include the Frick Collection, New York, and the Chateau de Versailles, France. François Girardon was the most eminent sculptor in France during the late 17th century and carried out many commissions for the royal palace at Versailles. Here, he flatters the dauphin by emphasizing his armor and wig, drawing attention away from the fleshy face.
Provenance Marquis de Beauvoir (per Jacques Seligmann & Co. records (Invoice books, 1910-1919, with WAM acc. no. 27.414); Jacques Seligmann, Paris, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, May 30, 1912, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1912
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