Venus and Cupid thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery

Venus and Cupid

Group
ca. 1718 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This ivory group depicting Venus and Cupid was made by David le Marchand in England, ca. 1700-1720, perhaps after 1718. The subject of Venus and Cupid was popular among wood and ivory carvers from the Renaissance onwards since the subject provides the opportunity of rendering sensuous nudity and demonstrating one's knowledge of antiquity. However this group is a relatively rare type of work by Le Marchand, who specialised in portraits.

David Le Marchand (1674-1726) was famed for his ivory carvings, particularly his portraits. He was a native of Dieppe, France, and came from a Huguenot, or Protestant, family. With the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and the consequent persecution of non-Catholics, he had to flee France. He was next recorded in Edinburgh in 1696, where he is documented as receiving official permission to open a shop and take on apprentices. He was in London by 1700, when he started to achieve a reputation for his portraits. Despite his wide circle of important patrons and his evident success, Le Marchand apparently died in poverty, though the exact reasons for this are unknown.
He is recognised as the most distinguished ivory carver to have worked in England in the early 18th century, a period when the art enjoyed a popularity unknown since the Middle Ages.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved ivory
Brief Description
Statuette, carved ivory, depicting Venus and Cupid, by David le Marchand, Britain, perhaps after 1718
Physical Description
Carved ivory statuetted depicting Venus and Cupid. Cupid stands on the right of Venus, who holds a drapery against her left thigh. Signed on the back of the base 'D. le Marchand. Scul.'
Dimensions
  • Height: 33.5cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'D. le Marchand. Scul.' (On the back of the base)
Object history
Bought for £37 10s. from E. Good, New Oxford Street, London, in 1926.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This ivory group depicting Venus and Cupid was made by David le Marchand in England, ca. 1700-1720, perhaps after 1718. The subject of Venus and Cupid was popular among wood and ivory carvers from the Renaissance onwards since the subject provides the opportunity of rendering sensuous nudity and demonstrating one's knowledge of antiquity. However this group is a relatively rare type of work by Le Marchand, who specialised in portraits.



David Le Marchand (1674-1726) was famed for his ivory carvings, particularly his portraits. He was a native of Dieppe, France, and came from a Huguenot, or Protestant, family. With the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and the consequent persecution of non-Catholics, he had to flee France. He was next recorded in Edinburgh in 1696, where he is documented as receiving official permission to open a shop and take on apprentices. He was in London by 1700, when he started to achieve a reputation for his portraits. Despite his wide circle of important patrons and his evident success, Le Marchand apparently died in poverty, though the exact reasons for this are unknown.

He is recognised as the most distinguished ivory carver to have worked in England in the early 18th century, a period when the art enjoyed a popularity unknown since the Middle Ages.

Bibliographic References
  • Avery, C. David le Marchand 1674-1726, An ingenious man for carving in ivory. London, 1996, p. 106
  • Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. London: Published under the Authority of the Board of Education, 1927-1929, Part II, p. 84
  • Roscoe, I., with Sullivan, M.G. and Hardy, E., A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain, 1660 to 1851, New Haven, 2009, p. 728
  • Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 145
Collection
Accession Number
A.69-1926

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record createdNovember 23, 2004
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