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Mephistopheles

European Art

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Mephistopheles

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Jacques-Louis Gautier
French, 1820–1900

Date

1853, cast later

Medium

Bronze with green and black patina

Accession #

1999.36

Dimensions

26 1/2 x 5 5/8 x 4 3/4 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 2, Gallery 207

Description

Jacques-Louis Gautier was a product of both the Salon system and the changing art market in nineteenth-century Paris. While he used the annual state-sponsored Salon as a venue to increase his visibility and enhance his reputation, he produced small, moderately priced works that were attractive to middle-class collectors. Mephistopheles was first exhibited in the Industrial Arts section of the 1855 Exposition Universelle, and a version of the work was acquired for Napoleon III. The elongated figure derived stylistically from such seventeenth-century artists as Callot and Bellange and appealed to the Romantic tendency toward macabre images.

Credit

Gift of Irene and Howard Stein