signed 'H. Weigele' (on proper left shoulder), inscribed 'BOUDET PARIS' (left of base), on an associated grey marble pedestal
marble and gilt-bronze
3412 in. (87.6 cm.) high, the bust
7512 in. (191.8 cm.) high, overall
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Lot Essay

In the late 19th century, Henri Weigele drew the attention of critics and contemporaries with his masterful skill in combining materials, particularly bronze and marble. The conception of the present model premiered at the Salon of 1904 and was a show of Weigele’s skill in mixing materials as the color, texture, and refinement of the marble figure is contrasted with the darker waves of gilt-bronze, giving a sense that the figure is escaping from the drapery. Weigele, who came to Paris from Schlierbach, Germany, treated the figure of Diana on multiple occasions, working in a classical tradition honed during his tenure as a student of Jules Franceschi. His penchant for busts of classical figures from combined marble, bronze, and stone can also be seen in the companion pieces of Athena and Diane now at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (Athenienne, WAG 4217) and New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans (inv. 15.42). Weigele earned an honorable mention at the Salon in 1893, and medals in 1907 and 1909.
A version of the present model appears at the top of the principal staircase of the Lucy Drexel Dahlgren House. This staircase was designed by Ogden Coleman, Jr. in 1915 for Ms. Dahlgren (1867-1944) as part of the commission for the entire residence at 15 East 96th Street, New York. The residence was made to feature a lighter and more elegant aesthetic, inspired by French style (M. C. Kathrens, Great Houses of New York: 1880-1940, vol. II, New York, 2013, pp. 178-181). The bust of Diane on the upper landing and visible from below, conveys the same crisp decoration and sophisticated mix of materials visible throughout the space. This late-career commission for Codman came more than 20 years after his work on the Breakers in Newport and has since been the residence of Pierre Cartier, and Paul Elliott Singer (Kathrens, p. 181).
The present model bears an inscription by Boudet on the base. Operating from large premises at 43, boulevard des Capucines from 1886, and on the place Vendôme after 1908, the firm of Boudet was one of the most important Parisian retailers of haut luxe furniture, bronzes, objets d'art, silver and even jewelry.

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