Tuesday, 27 September 2016

How to Cast a Life Size Equestrian Statue - Made Easy.

How to Cast an Equestrian Statue in Bronze - Made Easy.
In French.
The Short version.
(published after 1771).
Excerpt from unidentified quarto re-edition of the Encyclopédie, ou, Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Recueil de planches, vol. 8, originally published 1771. Diderot and Alambert.

The plates illustrated here and the Plates in the Diderot Alembert Encyclopaedia were copied and somewhat simplified from the originals from Boffrand.

These plates and their explanations are influenced heavily by the writing and descriptions of Germain Boffrand (1667 - 1754). Boffrand had served as the architect for many 18th-century French aristocrats, and had been a witness to the casting of Louis XIV's statue by Giradon and Jean-Balthazar Keller.
A pupil of Hardouin Mansart he published his influential Livre d'Architecture in 1745 see - https://archive.org/stream/gri_33125010919435#page/n7/mode/2up

 On hearing of the troubles Jean - Baptiste Lemoyne (1704 - 78) was having casting a similar statue of Louis XV, Boffrand sought to assist Lemoyne, recognising that he was the only remaining assistant who had been present and taken notes at the earlier casting by the Kellers.

Boffrand wrote his Description de ce qui a été Practiqué pour Fondre en Bronze d'un Seul Jet la Figure Équestre de Louis XIV, (see below) enabling Lemoyne to complete his work, although this statue was also later destroyed in the Revolution.  

These pages from -

The First published work on the subject of casting an equestrian statue in bronze in one piece is -
 Description de ce qui a été pratiqué pour fondre en bronze d'un seul jet la figure équestre de Louis XIV, élevée par la ville de Paris dans la place de Louis le Grand, en 1699…, by Germain Boffrand, Paris, Guillaume Cavelier, published in 1743.

The next published work is Description des travaux qui ont précédé, accompagné et suivi la fonte en bronze d'un seul jet de la statue équestre de Louis XV, le Bien-Aimé, Pierre Jean Mariette, published 1768.

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