Cupido jugando con una mariposa, comenzado por Antoine-Denis Chaudet y finalizado por Pierre Cartellier (1817).
Fotofrafías tomadas en el Museo del Louvre.
El Amor ofrece una rosa a una mariposa que tiene agarrada de las alas. La mariposa, símbolo del alma, se deja seducir por la belleza y la juventud (la rosa), convirtiéndose en prisionera del Amor. Los tormentos que aguardan al alma cautiva son descritos en cada una de las cuatro caras del pedestal, como se verá en los siguientes capítulos.
French sculptor. He was the son of a locksmith and studied at the Ecole Gratuite de Dessin, Paris, and then in the studio of Charles-Antoine Bridan and at the Académie Royale. He failed to win the Prix de Rome and began to earn his living modelling decorative motifs for bronze founders. He also worked as an assistant to Joseph Deschamps on decorative sculpture for Queen Marie-Antoinette at the châteaux of Trianon and Saint-Cloud, near Versailles, taking over from Deschamps on his death.
During the French Revolution he was one of a number of sculptors who collaborated on Antoine Quatremère de Quincy’s scheme to turn the church of Ste Geneviève, Paris, into a mausoleum, the Panthéon, to which he contributed a stone relief representing Force and Prudence (1792-93; destroyed). He exhibited a terracotta statuette of Friendship (private collection) in the 1796 Salon and in 1801 achieved his first major success when he exhibited the plaster version (untraced) of his statue of Modesty, based on the antique Capitoline Venus (Rome, Museo Capitolino); the marble version (exh. 1808 Salon; Amsterdam, Historisch Museum), executed for Empress Joséphine, demonstrates not only his commitment to the prevalent Neo-classical style but his distinctive personal grace of composition and delicacy of execution.
After the death of the Empress Joséphine, Cartellier executed, together with the architect Louis Berthault, her white marble tomb.
In many funerary monuments of the period the idea of death was rejected, and the defunct was recalled as he had been when he lived. The portrait became one of the most abiding elements of the work. One of the first life-size statues put up in a cemetery was the one made by Cartellier for Vivant Denon. Denon is portrayed in such a natural attitude, so supple and lifelike that he might seem almost to have been a visitor sketching a picturesque corner of the cemetery.
Dominique-Vivant Denon (1747-1825) was a French artist, archeologist, and diplomat. He was the friend of Jacques-Louis David, and, under Napoleon from 1804 to 1815, the director-general of the French museums.