Ponce JACQUIO (vraisemblablement Rethel, vers 1515 - Paris, 1570)

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Result : 1 150 000 EUR

Ponce JACQUIO (vraisemblablement Rethel, vers 1515 - Paris, 1570)

The thorn shooter
Large bronze statuette with a varnished medal patina, depicting an undressed young woman removing a thorn from her foot.
Italy, 16th century.
(Small scratches, small cast iron defect, filing under the right knee).
Height: 25 cm - Width: 22,10 cm - Depth: 11,9 cm
On a black molded marble base. Estimate on request

Ponce Jacquio, known as "Master Ponce", is the only French sculptor cited, under the name of Ponzio, by the historian Vasari in the 16th century. Probably born in Rethel around 1515, he trained in Italy as a sculptor and stucco artist, where he was a member of the Company of Saint Luke in Rome. He worked there between 1553 and 1556 for Cardinal Giovanni Ricci in Palazzo Sacchetti. Returning to France, he was a collaborator of Androuet du Cerceau, Germain Pilon and Primatice, with whom he worked for Fontainebleau, the Tuileries and the tombs of François I, Henri II and Catherine de Medici in Saint-Denis. He also responded to private commissions such as for the Hotel de Rocquencourt, for the Château de Meudon of the Cardinal of Lorraine, for the Count of Dammartin at the Château de Verneuil in 1560, for Parisian fountains and even for mantelpieces for fireplaces in 1562 and 1564.
In France, he lived in rue Montorgueil in Paris, in Montauban in 1566, then in a faubourg Saint-Marcel house near Les Gobelins bought in 1567, and finally in rue de la Grande Truanderie in Paris where he died in 1570.
Another bronze of the same subject but much smaller and of rather rustic workmanship, also dating from the Renaissance, acquired in 1910 from the Whitecombe Greene collection is kept in the Louvre Museum (OA 6416).
This is a rare statuette intended for an amateur cabinet, a widespread fashion in Italy from the 16th century onwards. The novelty is that the female cannon becomes more realistic, less slender and quasi-erotic.
It can be contemplated from all sides. The kinship with John of Bologna's "Venus in the Bath" or Barthelemy Prior's "Venus in the Bath" can be explained by the concomitant Roman sojourns of the three artists, influenced by the ancient "spinaria". Finally, we can note that in almost all of Pontius Jacquio's figures, we find the same Greek profile with a rather marked nose.

The model of this statuette is known thanks to the engraving representing it, in 1710, in the famous "Gallerie" of François Girardon who owned a terra cotta copy (plate III, n°1, "Modèle de terre cuite de Paul Ponce"). Passed through the collection of the famous 18th century Crozat collector, rediscovered by Alain Moatti and Jacques Petithory, it has been kept at the Louvre Museum since 1980 (RF 3455). The subject, which is a counterpart to the famous antique "Thorn-shooter" kept in the Capitoline Museum in Rome, is perhaps inspired by the fresco "Venus wounded by a thorn", painted in 1516 by Raphael to decorate the bathroom of Cardinal Bibbiena in Rome, and engraved by Marco Dente.
In addition to the terracotta one, listed in his inventory after his death, drawn up in 1715 under no. 80, Girardon also had a bronze copy described in the same inventory: "no. 123. Two other small bronze figures, one coming out of the bath and the other cutting his nails, 15 pounds". The latter is probably the one (which was in the Pourtalès collection in the 19th century) kept at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (A.13-1964).
It is also known that Cardinal Giovanni Ricci, Jacquio's patron of the arts, took with him from Italy to France "two bronze images" including "a woman removing a thorn from her foot". On October 2, 1557, he obtained a pontifical licence authorizing him to export these two "modern" bronzes*. It is particularly tempting to see the one presented here.

* Anxious to protect their ancient artistic heritage, both the Roman and the Vatican authorities attempted, as early as the end of the 15th century, to legislate to put a stop to the artistic plundering of Rome. Thus, the Cardinal of Cameroon was asked to grant some export licences to certain privileged individuals, notably by means of a licentia extrahendi. Thus the Cardinal of Montepulciano, Guiseppe Ricci was authorised by Mario Frangipani, "superintendent and curator", to export two bronze statuettes: "Licentia
Johanni cardinali de Montepolitiano extrahendi et quocumque voluerit convehendi duas imagines aeneas, alteram videlicet Mercurii et alteram mulieris spinam ex altero pede extranhentis recentiores".
Vatican Archives, XXIX cabinet, Diversa Cameralia (volume 186, folio 106).

Provenance: It has been
handed down for at least five generations in the same Parisian family.

- Mariette, Abécédario, 1729-1742, Paris, Dumoulin, 1857-1858, volume four.
- Stanislas Lami, Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l'école française du Moyen Âge au règne de Louis XVI, Paris, 1898, Klaus reprint, Liechtenstein, 1970, pages 458 et seq.
- Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1928, first semester, pages 213 ff.
- Bertrand Jestaz, Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire de l'École française de Rome, 1963, page 429.
- Yasmine Helfer, Ponce Jacquio: l'inaccessible étoile ?, University of Paris IV, Sorbonne, 2001, Master's thesis under the direction of Alain Mérot and Geneviève Bresc-Bautier, (MM 2006-1).
- Yasmine Helfer, Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire de l'Art Française, Paris, year 2005 published in 2006, pages 9 and following.
- Geneviève Bresc-Bautier and Guilhem Scherf, Bronzes français de la Renaissance au siècle des lumières, Somogy - Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2008, pages 80 and following.
- Alexandre Maral, Girardon le sculpteur de Louis XIV, Artena, Paris, 2015, pages 435 and 436.

The application for an export certificate for a cultural object is still under investigation, which may lead to its issue or refusal.

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