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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Antique Statues - 1. The Aphrodite of Melos

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ANTIQUE STATUES. 1 59
it would have wounded many a high-minded Frenchman
to know ; but it may here be said, that Count de Marcellus
caused Mr. Brest, on the part of the Marquis de Riviere
to deHver to the peasant of Melos who discovered the
statue, four thousand francs over and above the twelve
thousand he had received from Oikonomos, as satisfaction
for a work of art which in the hands of the state cannot
be valued in money, but which in private hands would
be worth a million.
The artist’s name, as has been said, was Praxiteles.
His right to the beautiful statue stood as firm as the
house of Bourbon’s right to the throne of France, and
rested on a foundation as immovable.
But outside of France, there was a French artist who
doubted the right of the house of Bourbon, and perhaps
even of Praxiteles. On account of the former doubt, he
was an exile. His name was Louis David. He was liv-
ing in Brussels, when he read in the papers that the Me-
lian statue had arrived in Paris. We can fancy how he
longed to see with his own eyes this creation of the an-
tique, he who had so zealously tried to paint the very
forms that the antique had chiseled, and of whose
works we possess " Paris and Helen," " The Death of So-
crates," " The Sabine Women," " Amor and Psyche ;
"
and who, if I mistake not, had just before given the last
touch of the pencil to his " Mars disarmed by Venus,
Amor and the Graces." But as he could not buy per-
mission to come to Paris at a lower price than a political
recantation, he wrote to his former pupil. Baron Gros, and
begged him to procure a faithful drawing of the statue.
Gros gave this commission to his pupil, Auguste Debay.
Accompanied by his father, J. B. Debay, who like Gros
had worked under David’s instruction, the young man

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