Examples of sculpture of the first phase of classicism

Examples of sculpture of the first phase of classicism.

Classicist sculpture in its form described above was not born immediately. In the works of the earlier period, classicist features are intertwined with late baroque and rococo features. The harmonious combination of these two opposing styles - baroque and classicism - can be found in the work of the French sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon (1741—1828), especially in his expressive portrait busts (Napoleon I, General Ney et al.).

In Polish sculpture of the earlier period (times of enlightenment) classicist tendencies are also in line with the remnants of the previous style. An example of such a relationship is the statue of "Fame", intended for the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Soft, the noble outline of this work is an undoubted feature of classicism. But beyond the goddess, her body is light, flirtatious and grateful speak French, still half Rococo in origin. Indeed - the author of this work is the Frenchman ANDRE LE BRUN (1737—1811), head of the sculpture workshop at the royal castle, creator of a series of statues of ancient gods (among them Apollo resembling Stanisław August) and series, intended for the Knights' Hall of the Royal Castle, portrait busts of outstanding Poles from the 17th century. up to the time of the artist (m. in. Jan Zamoyski, Stefan Czarniecki, Paul Sapieha). These works are cast in bronze, they combine a baroque portrait pose with classical serenity, restraint and moderation.

Several other outstanding artists of that time worked in the studio headed by Le Brun, deliberately brought by the king, among them the Italian GIACOPO MONALDI (1730 - after 1797) and the Austrian FRANCISZEK PINCK (1733—1798). Monaldi, as an Italian brought up in the cult of antiquity, is closer to classicism. This is clearly his most perfect work: statue of Chronos, saved, as well as many other sculptures, during the destruction of the Royal Castle in 1939 year. Franciszek Pinck basically remained faithful to the Baroque: monument of Jan III Sobieski on a mounted horse (at ul. Agrykola in Warsaw) with its dynamic arrangement and expressive gesture, it is still firmly rooted in the traditions of the style of the previous era.