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Witch from Macbeth

European Art

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Witch from Macbeth

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Jacques-Louis Gautier
French, 1820–1900

Date

1853, cast later

Medium

Bronze with green and black patina

Accession #

1999.37

Dimensions

30 3/4 x 5 1/4 x 6 1/2 inches

Location

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

Description

Jacques-Louis Gautier was a product both of the Salon system and the changing art market of nineteenth-century Paris. While he used the annual state-sponsored Salon as a venue to increase his visibility and enhance his reputation, he also produced small, moderately priced works that were attractive to middle-class collectors.

For the subjects of these two sculptures—Mephistopheles and the Witch—Gautier borrowed from two of the most popular pieces of literature during the Romantic period: Goethe’s Faust and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The elongated figures appealed to a Romantic taste for the macabre.

Credit

Gift of Irene and Howard Stein