Pythian Sibyl

Marcello (Duchesse de Castiglione-Colonna, born Adèle d'Affry), Swiss, 1836 - 1879

Geography:
Made in Paris, France, Europe

Date:
After 1869-1870

Medium:
Bronze

Dimensions:
Height: 31 1/2 inches (80 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

* Gallery 151, European Art 1850-1900, first floor (Annenberg Galleries; Colket Gallery)

Accession Number:
1973-251-1

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Fiske Kimball Fund and the Marie Kimball Fund, 1973

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Like the contemporary writer George Sand, Adèle d'Affry, widow of the Duke of Castiglione-Colonna, gave her name a sexual shift when she exhibited and signed her work "Marcello." She was one of the most celebrated women artists of her day, receiving several commissions from the French state during the Second Empire (1852-70) and exhibiting regularly at the Paris Salon. Her artistic biases were very much those of her close friend Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux with sixteenth-century Italian sculpture, particularly that of Michelangelo, as their standard. Marcello often did figures of heroic women, and in the 1870 Salon showed a Pythian Sibyl, one of the mythical seers of antiquity. Charles Garnier commissioned it in bronze at twice the size of life for his new opera house in Paris, where it is placed as if in a grotto, the snakes and lizards rising up from a pool of water that casts an eerie up-light on the twisting figure. This bronze is a reduction of the one in the Paris Opéra. Joseph J. Rishel, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 194.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.