COUSTOU, Nicolas
(b. 1658, Lyon, d. 1733, Paris)

The Seine and Marne

Marble, height 244 cm
Tuileries Garden, Paris

Nicolas Coustou's group of the Seine and Marne, originally for Marly and now in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, shows his ability to produce straightforward allegory. It is much less wrought and refined than Corneille van Cleve's comparable nearby group of the Loire and Loiret. But it is much more satisfactorily and subtly composed, with its complementary personifications who are linked into a single whole yet gaze out in opposite directions, encouraging the spectator to walk all round. The putti at two corners serve a similar purpose, as well as being charming and lively in themselves.

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