LEMOYNE, Jean-Louis
(b. 1665, Paris, d. 1755, Paris)

A Companion of Diana

Marble, height 183 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Lemoyne's Companion of Diana, finished in 1724, is one of the outstanding statues in the series executed for the garden of Marly by several sculptors, full of a sense of movement and life, colourfully and gracefully interpreted. There may well be in it some influence of Le Lorrain, while in the nymph's dialogue with her hound the influence of Frémin's earlier statue in the same series seems overt. Even the effective gesture of the nymph's arm crossing her body echoes the similar gesture in Frémin's treatment, while a basic influence on the whole concept - perhaps for both sculptors - must have been Coysevox's Duchesse de Bourgogne as Diana. which dates from 1710. That had been commissioned by the Duc d'Antin for his own château, but there is a sense in which all the 'Companions of Diana' are companions to Coysevox's famous figure.