PRADIER, James
(b. 1790, Genève, d. 1852, Rueil)

Victory

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Marble, height 460 cm
Les Invalides, Paris

Jean-Jacques (called James) Pradier was the most famous sculptor during the July Monarchy. He was commissioned to execute the twelve Victory figures who stand guard around Napoleon's tomb, which was designed for the Invalides by Visconti between 1843 and 1861. Set against the columns of a circular gallery, these twelve colossal marble figures, winged and draped, have the grave expressions of Greek caryatids. They differ from each other only in some of the details. Pradier's elegant, cold style harmonizes in every way with the architecture of the tomb.