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Bust of Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria (1662-1726)
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The base inscribed in pen: 37/683 with an orange plastic label stamped: 37/683 an old paper label printed: HISTORISCHES MUSEUM / MÜNCHEN and inscribed in pen: 37/683 and a paper label stamped: *SAMMLUNG* H.E.B. and inscribed in pen: 76.\nSigned: G. de Grof F.\nThis fine gilt bronze portrait bust of Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, is one of only three known casts, the others respectively being housed in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich (inv. no. R3968) (also with Louis XIV pedestal base inlaid première-partie) and that formerly in the collection of Sir Philip Sassoon Bt, which was sold at Christie's, London, on 8 December 1994, lot 7, for £58,700. The model forms one of a series of six busts of Maximilian and his ancestors, which trace the Elector's lineage ultimately to Duke Theodo I, by way of Charlemagne, Duke Otto von Wittelsbach, Emperor Ludwig of Bavaria and Elector Maximilian I.\n\nMaximilian Emanuel was an important and influential figure in De Grof's career. Guillielmus (or Guillaume) De Grof was born in Antwerp in circa 1676, training as a sculptor in Paris, where he eventually entered into the service of Louis XIV. In 1714 he created his seminal equestrian group, the magnificent bronze Apotheosis of Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, inv. no. R3973), commissioned in 1714, whilst Maximilian Emanuel was living in exile in Paris. In 1716, after the Elector had returned to power, De Grof moved to Bavaria, where he became court sculptor, modelling the now lost lead garden sculptures for the Nymphenburg and Schleißheim palaces.\n\nAs was noted by Weihrauch (Die Bildwerke... op. cit. p. 194), the present portrait of Maximilian Emanuel is almost identical to that seen in the Apotheosis of 1714, which would suggest that the present model dates to around the same time, probably after the sculptor moved to Munich in 1716. It is possible that the features of both portraits might trace back to a now lost bust, which according to J. van der Sanden was the Elector's first commission to De Grof in Paris (Glaser, op. cit. p. 219, no. 492). Whether or not such a bust existed, a date of circa 1716-1720 would seem most likely, given the correspondences with the Apotheosis.\n\nIn both the present bust and the Apotheosis, the influence of sculpted portraits of Louis XIV is clear, particularly in the elaborate wig, dramatic turn of the head and in the arrangement of the drapery. Describing the bust in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Weihrauch notes that this compositional grandeur contrasts with the goldsmith-like quality of the casting (Weihrauch, Europäische... op. cit. p. 438, fig. 520). The present bronze similarly exhibits superb crisp detailing, note in particular the rampant lions on the cuirass, the lion mask pauldron at the proper right shoulder and the separately cast chain with the Order of the Golden Fleece.\n\nThe present bust is an example of the gout moderne, which marked the introduction, facilitated by De Grof, of fashionable ameublement de bronze to the Bavarian court. The fine Louis XIV Boulle inspired base, which may have been made in Munich or Paris, is reminiscent of the elaborate marquetry base created for the Apotheosis by Bernard van Risenburgh père (1660-1738).\n\nRELATED LITERATURE\nH. R. Weihrauch, Die Bildwerke in Bronze und in anderen Metallen, cat. Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, vol. XIII, 5, Munich, 1956, pp. 193-5, no. 234; H.R. Weihrauch, Europäische Bronzestatuetten. 15.-18. Jahrhundert, Braunschweig, 1967, p. 438, fig. 520; H. Glaser (ed.) Kurfürst Max Emanuel. Bayern und Europa um 1700, vol. II, 'Katalog der Ausstellung im Alten und Neuen Schloss Schleissheim', exhib. cat. Neues Schloß, Schleißheim, 1976, p. 219, no. 492; J. N. Ronfort and J. D. Augarde, 'Le Maître du Bureau de l'Electeur', L'Estampille et L'Objet d'Art, January 1991, no. 243, pp. 42-61; P. Volk. 'Darstellungen Ludwigs XIV. auf Steigendem Pferd', Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch. Westdeutsches Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte, vol. xxviii, Cologne, 1996, pp. 61-89; M. Tillmann, 'Le mobilier de Boulle sous le Saint-Empire. Étude de la culture du goût, à l'exemple de l'électorat de Bavière' in André Charles Boulle (1642–1732). Un nouveau style pour l'Europe, exhib. cat. Museum for Decorative Arts, Frankfurt, 2009, 152-165; '"Von denen neu französischen Mobilien" – The Impact of Boulle Furniture at the Court of Elector Max Emanuel (1680-1726)', in Baroque Furniture in Boulle Technique – Conservation, Science, History, papers given at the international conference held at the Bavarian National Museum, Munich, 5-7 May 2011, Munich, 2012 (forthcoming)\n\nWe are grateful to Dr Max Tillmann for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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notes

Please note that the base is veneered with wood and not tortoiseshell as stated in the printed catalogue.

medium

Gilt bronze, on a Louis XIV wood and brass-inlaid wood pedestal-base

condition

Overall the condition of the bronze is good, with minor dirt and wear consistent with age. The Order of the Golden Fleece collar is slightly loose and there are a few small original casting lacunae, including to the back behind the proper right arm. Some minor spotting to the surface. There are a few losses to the base, including two pieces of ebony at the top; and a few small sections of the bronze marquetry at each side. The bronze cornice and feet are slightly loose. Two sections of bronze lining at the bottom are lost and it is possible that there were originally bronze sections lining the corners of the base, now lost. There is some stable splitting to the tortoiseshell. There is a loose piece of bronze marquetry on the left side of the base. There are a few lacunae to the bronze feet due to casting flaws. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

dimensions

Overall: 42cm., 16½in.

literature

H. R. Weihrauch, Die Bildwerke in Bronze und in anderen Metallen, cat. Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, vol. XIII, 5, Munich, 1956, pp. 193-5, no. 234 (referenced); P. Volk, Guillielmus de Grof (1676–1742): Studien zur Plastik am kurbayrischen Hof im 18. Jahrhundert, dissertation, Witterschlick, 1966, p. 156, no. 5a

provenance

Emma Budge, Hamburg; her forced sale Berlin, Paul Graupe, Die Sammlung Frau Emma Budge, Hamburg, 27-29 September 1937, lot 98, pl. 35; acquired by the Münchner Stadtmuseum, Munich (inv. no. 37 / 683); restituted to the heirs of Emma Budge in 2012

signedDate

Signed: G. de Grof F.

consignmentDesignation

Property from the Collection of Henry and Emma Budge


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