Michel Anguier’s Jupiter
Michel Anguier’s Jupiter
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French sculptor Michel Anguier is a native of Normandy and is most often associated with his brother, fellow sculptor Francois Anguier - Michel Anguier’s Jupiter introduction. The renowned French sculptor has been given recognition by kings and cardinals because of their superb craftsmanship and Michel Anguier’s careful attention to detail. Aside from his sculpture of the great Greek god Jupiter, he is also the master behind such great works as the triumphal arch at Porte St. Denis, the Nativity at the Val-de-Grace, and a number of decorative sculptures at the old Louvre and Vaux-le-Vicomte. Michel Anguire is considered as one of the finer sculptors from the 1600’s and his passion for his craft gave way to innovations and progress in sculpture. His contributions in the field of sculpture increased even more when he taught young and old sculptors alike at the Academie Royale in Paris, France.
The artist’s work of art, Jupiter, is a free standing sculpture which is believed to be one of the many sculptures of gods and goddesses that that Michel Anguier made as part of a series of sculptures as decorations for elaborate homes or mansions. The work of art was sculpted using bronze in 1700, although it is believed that the cast of the said sculpture was made earlier in 1652. To this day, art historians and enthusiasts have not found any other casts of Jupiter believed to be sculpted by Michel Anguier at the same time that has been immortalized into bronze sculptures. Jupiter only measures 24 inches in height, 14 ½ inches in width, and 5 ½ inches in diameter. Yet despite its small size, the statuette emits an air of power and regality which is only a fitting tribute to Jupiter’s power and supremacy as the chief Roman god.
Also its small size does not compromise Michel Anguier’s talent and artistry in any way. In fact, the small size only highlights the artist’s skill and careful attention to detail, creating a sculpture that clearly defines every curve and crease in the god’s muscled body. Jupiter is depicted standing tall, proud and supreme, attentive and alert, and ready to strike enemies with his thunderbolts in a position that is both regal and awing. Jupiter’s stance is captured magnificently, and so is his anticipation and alertness in striking those who do him wrong. An eagle, which is closely identified to Jupiter himself, stands proudly beside him seemingly to magnify his powers.
Upon close observation, one cannot help but be amazed at the tremendous amount of work that the artist put into his work, Jupiter. One can almost feel the texture of Jupiter’s beard, the rigidity of his muscles, the throbbing of his veins ready to strike his infamous thunderbolts to wrongdoers, the creases of his toga as it drapes his body and falls to his feet, and the tension of his raised arm as he gets ready to hurl his thunderbolt.
Michel Anguier’s Jupiter’s classic style and careful attention to detail and regality is quite characteristic of the Baroque style that France favored in the seventeenth century. It also closely matches other sculptures of gods and goddesses immortalized by other artists in seventeenth-century France which royalty then favored and collected to be part of their displays and collections.
Having Michel Anguier’s free standing sculpture Jupiter as part of my collection will perhaps be one of my greatest moments as an art enthusiast and collector. Aside from its rarity, being the only existing statuette of Jupiter cast by Michel Anguier, it is also a sight to behold. Its small size does not in any way compromise its magnificence and regality either as part of a collection of other sculptures of gods and goddesses from the Baroque period, or as a lone trophy of even the pickiest art aficionado.