The God of Health reveals the Bust of Louis XIV to France, or alluding to the Healing of the King is a relief by Nicolas Coustou.
This entry piece by Nicolas Coustou for the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture is an allegory in compliments of Louis XIV, who'd lately recovered from sickness. The topic and layout of this work, whose, doesn't represent the sculptor's ability. Coustou took over six years to complete the work, and was struck off the list of artists that were documented before finally submitting the piece in 1693.
An allegory in compliments of Louis XIV
This allegorical bas relief centres on a bust of King Louis XIV place on a base. Over the dragon he's slain, Pythian Apollo, the god of well-being, stands on the left. He covers the bust with his cloak, seemingly guarding the king from the specters in the cloud, which signify sickness. To the right of the king is a youthful reclining girl, wearing a crown and holding the fleur de lis scepter, who personifies France. She looks toward the youthful god. This is an immediate allusion to the king's healing from sickness in 1687.
Strict control of entry pieces
Nicolas Coustou applied to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture when he returned from Rome in 1687, and was enrolled. For his entry into the Académie he'd to do a marble bas relief, the issue of which were visited by the painter Le Brun and layout. The topic is related to a series of allegorical pictures in honor of Louis XIV, such as Sculpture Presenting the King's Medallion to Painting (1682, Louvre Museum) by Jacques Prou, or Poetry and Music Observing the Glory of King Louis XIV(1686, Louvre Museum) by Jean Rousselet. Ill health had lately threatened the king, and Coustou was required to observe his healing.
The artist was quite active with the building of the Grand Trianon at Versailles and possibly lacked excitement for a composition over which he had no command. Despite several postponements, he was not able to create his marble in time and was struck off the list of artists that are registered. He was re-filed in 1693 and declared of the exact same year on August 29.
A work that is unsatisfactory?
This work - a formality to enable the sculptor - doesn't represent the sculptor's ability.
The taste of space is flawed: Apollo is place in the foreground, standing before the bust of the king in the backdrop (the drapery around the god's hips falls in front of the bust's pedestal; the depth of the relief puts him at the exact same degree as France), yet Apollo's protective gesture toward the king with his cloak indicates he is on exactly the same amount as the bust, even only behind it. The figure of the god is seemingly a reference to the Apollo Belvedere(Vatican), a historical statue that had embodied perfect beauty in art since the Renaissance. But in the Apollo of Coustou, proportions and the location of the legs are not correct. Furthermore, the god looks weightless as he stands on the dragon. For a work dedicated to the glory of the sovereign, and an entry piece, the lack of finish in the details is, in addition, astonishing: the delineation of the dragon is not convincing, and the king's bust isn't well worked.
Yet there are some great components. The figure of France is represented with sophistication and fluidity. The low relief of the specter appearing from them and the clouds evoke its passing and the intangible nature of sickness.
The bust of Louis XIV depicted in the relief is a working of Bernini commended sculpture of him.
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