Diana the Huntress

Diana the Huntress
After Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828)
Paris, circa 1800
Patinated bronze, yellow Sienna marble plinth
Inv. 20897
Max Beulé bequest, 1918
© Photo MAD, Paris / Cyrille Bernard

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This statue of Diana, goddess of the hunt, is a smaller-scale bronze replica of the famous Diana the Huntress sculpted in marble by Jean-Antoine Houdon for the Duke of Saxe-Gotha in 1780. The original is slightly different: due to marble’s fragility, the goddess’s lower leg is consolidated by a tuft of reeds. The bronze version does away with this support, rendering the fleeting goddess’s pose, momentarily poised on one foot, even more remarkable.