Friday 5 July 2024


Study of a Fallen Man.

Offered Sotheby's 5 July 2022 Lot 232.

Here suggested as a bozzetto by the Burgundian Sculptor Claude Davide fl 1678 - 1722.

Terracotta,  17 by 25cm., 6¾ by 9⅞in.


Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York;

Sale of his heirs, Sotheby's, New York, 29 January 2010, lot 497;

Private collection, UK.




C. Avery, Fingerprints of the Artist: European Terracotta Sculpture from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, exh. cat., The National Gallery of Art, Washington; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 1979-1982, pp. 174-175, no. 77.

Loosely based on the much reproduced classical Dying Gaul or Dying Gladiator in the Capitoline Museum, Rome.


The Capitoline Dying Gaul or Gladiator.

The Dying Gaul statue is thought to have been re-discovered in the early 17th century during excavations for the building of the Villa Ludovisi (commissioned by Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, nephew of Pope Gregory XV), on the site of the ancient Gardens of Sallust on the Pincian Hill in Rome. Many other antiquities (most notably the "Ludovisi Throne") were subsequently discovered on the site in the late 19th century when the Ludovisi's estate was redeveloped and built over. The Dying Gaul was first recorded in a 1623 inventory of the collections of the Ludovisi family and in 1633 was in the Palazzo Grande, part of the Villa Ludovisi. Pope Clement XII (ruled 1730–1740) acquired it for the Capitoline collections. It was later taken by Napoleon's forces under the terms of the Treaty of Tolentino and was displayed with other Italian works of art in the Louvre Museum until 1816 when it was returned to Rome.


The Peter Scheemakers version at Rousham, Oxfordshire.

Image courtesy.


The Iford Manor, Somerset Bronze Dying Gladiator.

Beautiful Italianate Garden with interesting ancient sculpture and cloister.

Above the entrance to the kitchen garden.

Probably put up by Harold Peto, between 1899 - 1933.

Age and source unknown - about half life size.


The statue of  Mars / Alexander on the Great Parapet at Longleat House.

Put up after 1707.

I first became interested in the sculptures of Claude Davide many years ago when I owned a bust which had formerly been part of an over life size Portland Stone statue removed from the parapet on the South front of Longleat House because of the weathering had made it dangerous.

This head and shoulders of this statue were based on an ancient bust of Alexander the Great in Porphyry which was formerly at Versailles and is now in the Louvre, which had been restored by Girardon.

This bust was constructed from a porphyry head from the Richelieu collection. Restored and completed by Girardon. It was exhibited at the Salon of 1699. shown in the Girardon Gallery and by the inventory after his death (no. 231). Purchased in 1738 by the Count of Maurepas on behalf of Louis XV and placed in the Cabinet du Conseil at Versailles. 1797.


Claude David. fl. 1678 - 1722.

Known as the Chevalier David.

Pssibly trained in France under Pierre Puget.

First recorded working in Rome in 1678 by 1695 he was in Genoa working on the church of St Maria Caignano  where he succeeded Puget. He received a payment of 760 lire for a statue of St Bartholomew.

David was working in England by 1700, when he was paid the not insubstantial figure of £100 for unspecified works at Windsor Castle. 

There is a very brief mention in the George Vertue Notebooks Vol II.


Vulcan or Prometheus.

Claude Davide fl. 1678 - 1722.


c. 1710

Length: 86.5cm.

Victoria and Albert Museum.

Text below from the V and A website.

Claude David (active 1678–1722) Vulcan (or Prometheus) Chained to a Rock About 1710 Although the Greek Titan god Prometheus is usually shown chained to a rock, this sculpture is thought to show Vulcan, the blacksmith god, restrained from forging his weapons of war. 

The collector Andrew Fountaine commissioned the piece to accompany a portrait of William III. It is said that this was to represent William’s arrival in England and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 averting a civil war. London Marble Commissioned by Sir Andrew Fountaine (1676–1753) for Narford Hall, Norfolk (2021).

An early inventory describes the subject of this sculpture as Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods. He is usually shown chained to a rock and writhing in agony as an eagle feeds on his liver as punishment. 

However, it may depict the god of fire, Vulcan, with his tools. As a blacksmith, Vulcan forged weapons for the gods.

This sculpture was originally on the staircase of Narford Hall in Norfolk. It was commissioned by Sir Andrew Fountaine. 

Purchased at the sale of the collection of Sir Andrew Fountaine, held at Sotheby's, Parke, Bernet & Co, London, on 11 December 1980, lot 221. There it was described as Prometheus. Bought for £4460 using funds from the John Webb Trust.



Sizes 49 x 68.5 x 54.5cm., 19 1/4  x 27 x 21 1/2 in

Photograph courtesy Sotheby's.

Sotheby's, Lot 85.  12 November 2013.

Attributed to Claude Davide.


 Sir Thomas Parker, 1st Earl of Macclesfield, Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire.

and thence by family descent until 2005.

David was born in Burgundy and is therefore likely to have been trained as a sculptor in France. By the 1690s, however, he was in Italy, finishing a statue of St. Bartholomew started by Pierre Puget and carving further marbles for the church of S. Maria Assunta di Carignano in Genova. 

There he seems to have attracted the attention of Charles Henri, Prince de Vaudémont, who, in turn, introduced the sculptor to William III, King of England. The King promptly invited the sculptor to join him in London and for some 20 years after that David would supply statuary for some of England's foremost country houses. 

Other commissions include a fine monument for the Carteret family in Westminster Abbey, which is adorned with a personification of Time that resembles the present figure. 

Since the Earl of Macclesfield purchased his castle near Watlington in 1716 when David was in England, it is plausible that the present marble was commissioned directly from David during its refurbishments.


Polyphemus, the man-eating King of the Cyclopedes, appears throughout mythology. He crushed Acis with a boulder after courting Galatea and captured Ulysses and his men on their return from the Trojan war. The latter escaped the one-eyed giant by blinding him with a tree-trunk and escaping his cave under the cover of a sheep.


Claude David (1655-1722).

Saint Pierre en prison, circa 1700.

Plâtre - 55 x 50 x 43 cm.

Galerie Mendes.

Photo : Galerie Mendes.

image from -



Height 177 cms.

Victoria and Albert Museum.

The statue came to the museum from the garden of Alford house. 

This house was built in 1851 by M D Wyatt for Lady Marion Alford, sister-in-law of Earl Granville, Vice-President of the 1851 Commission, who was closely involved in the formation of the V and A.

 The house occupied the north-east corner of Wise's nurseries which was later renamed Ennismore Gardens. In August 1955, the building was declared to be demolished and rebuilt on the site of Alford House. The statue however appears to have come to the Museum prior to this date. The presence of the statue at the Museum is confirmed for the 1870ies through 2 photographs at the Museum on which the statue appears. The statue might have formerly been part of St. James Park together with another statue. The gardens were later redesigned by Henry Wise, and this may have resulted in the statues being moved to Wise's nurseries at Brompton Road.


The Monument to Philip Carteret, North Aisle, Westminster Abbey.

Claude Davide.

Signed Gidius David Eques Sculpsit.

Photographs taken by the Author.

I probably should thank the powers that be at Westminster Abbey but given that on my previous visit (£18 entry thank you very much!) I was almost summarily ejected for taking photographs of the Newton Monument, I still don't feel very kindly disposed to them, even though they have now given up the attempts to police photography in the Abbey.

Their website is also a very mean spirited affair - with poor low resolution photographs.

Engraving from Westmonasterium 

From the Westmonesterium - HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF THE ABBEY CHURCH OF ST. PETERS, WESTMINSTER" published in 1726 in London by James Cole.

Monument for Philip Carteret (6 November 1692-19th March 1710). Son of Sir George Carteret, later Baron Carteret of Haynes (d.1695) and Grace, Countess of Granville and Viscountess Carteret.

Honorabilis Iuvenis

Phillipus Cartaret Domini

Georges Cartaret Baroronis de Hawnes

Flius natu minimus hujus Collegis

Alumnus Academie jam maturus obit

Marty 19 1710


The honourable youth Philip Carteret, second son of the Lord George Carteret, Baron of Hawnes, scholar of this College and ripe for university, died March 19 1710, aged 19.


The Statue of Neptune at Dyham Park.



4800 x 1330 x 1330 mm.


Dyrham Park .

Johannes Kip c, 1707.


Overall: 22 3/4 × 27 1/8in. (57.8 × 68.9cm).


The Statue of Saint Bartholomew (Bartolemeo).

In the basilica of St Maria Carignano, Genoa,  

Davide succeeded Puget. He received a payment of 760 lire for thestatue of St Bartholomew.

The four niches of the interior of the pylons of the dome have statues of Blessed Alessandro Sauli and St Sebastian (1668), (right) by Pierre Puget; and on the left, St Bartholomew (1695), by Claude David and St John the Baptist by Filippo Parodi.

Black and white images above from -

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