Bronze Isis by Emile-Louis Picault

  • This extraordinary group of bronze figures is by famed French sculptor Émile-Louis Picault
  • The Egyptian goddess Isis sits regally at the center, flanked by two attendants
  • Picault's Egyptian-influenced works such as this are among his most desirable
  • He is considered among the most celebrated Orientalist sculptors of the 19th century
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 30-3664

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The Egyptian goddess Isis strikes a regal pose in this extraordinary group of bronze figures by famed French sculptor Émile-Louis Picault, one of the most celebrated Orientalist sculptors of the 19th century. Renowned for his magnificent work celebrating allegorical, mythological and patriotic subjects, Picault's Egyptian-influenced works such as the present group are among his most desirable, bringing upwards of $114,000 at auction. This extraordinary group embodies the high level of detail and elaborate design for which Picault's work is so loved.

Seated on an Egyptian column atop faux marble bases and proudly clutching a scepter in the shape of Anubis, this beautifully modeled figure exemplifies the formidable beauty of the Egyptian deity. Her magnificently carved robes drape elegantly over her voluptuous figure, while a traditional headdress adorned by a vulture rests atop her head. She is joined by two attendants, a man and a woman, whose stances evoke the drama of ancient Egypt and the culture’s social hierarchy. Their intricately detailed costumes, from the ornate headdresses and complicated pleats to the jewelry and accessories, echo the contemporary romantic ideals of the Belle Époque and the obsession with Egyptian art and artifacts.

Émile-Louis Picault was a student of Louis Royer, and exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1860 to 1909. His Egyptian figures are among his most popular works and follow in the tradition of ethnographic decorative sculpture in France during the late 19th century, as well as the fashion for Egyptian subjects that followed Napoleon’s historic campaigns in the Nile delta.

When the craze over Egypt made its way to New York circa 1870, its influence had already made its way into home décor, and Picault’s work was at the forefront of this movement. When Tiffany's opened their store in Union Square, they incorporated Orientalist sculpture and design into their style, and featured items such as Picault's Egyptian bronzes on their showroom floor. As a result, many of the most modern homes were filled with these exotic wares.

Circa 1880

Isis Figure: 14 1/2" high x 6 1/2" wide x 6 1/4" deep; with base: 21 3/4" high x 9 7/8" wide x 8 1/2" deep
​Attendant Figurines: 16 1/2” high x 5 1/4" wide x 4 1/2" deep; with bases: 22" high x 8" wide x 7" deep
Bronze Isis by Emile-Louis Picault
Period: 1816-1918
Origin: France
Type: Sculpture
Depth: 6.25 Inches
Width: 6.5 Inches
Height: 14.5 Inches
Style: Neoclassicism

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