MERCIÉ, Antonin
(b. 1845, Toulouse, d. 1916, Paris)


Bronze, height 184 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

The bronze David was one of Mercié's most popular works. The sculptor introduced the plaster model of his life-size David to the Salon of 1872, the first to be held since the Franco-Prussian War, where it was well received. The Biblical hero is depicted naked with the head of Goliath at his feet like Donatello's David. The figure's turban, as well as his sword and the decoration around the plinth, reflect the Orientalist trend that was extremely popular in France at this time.

Numerous reproductions exist, most of which incorporate a loincloth that covers David's genitalia but not his buttocks. The lifesize original is now in the Musée d'Orsay.

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