19th Century Equestrian Bronze Statue of the Young Queen Victoria on Horseback
A rare beautifully cast equestrian bronze statue by a French noble Alfred-Guillaume-Gabriel, Count d’Orsay of her Majesty a young Queen Victoria riding side saddle on a prancing Arab Stallion; mounted upon a base of naturalistic form; signed Cte D’Orsay, Sculpt and dated 1848. This precedes an almost identical bronze statue of the queen by the more renowned English Sculptor T. Thornycroft in 1853.Alfred
Guillaume Gabriel d’Orsay, known as the Comte d’Orsay (Count of Orsay) (b.1801 d.1852) was a French amateur artist, dandy, and man of fashion in the early to mid-19th century. He was born in Paris, the second son of Albert Gaspard Grimaud, a Bonapartist general. His mother was Eleanore de Franquemont, an illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Württemberg and the Italian adventuress Anne Franchi, and his elder brother died in infancy.
In 1821 he entered the French army of the restored Bourbon monarchy (against his own Bonapartist tendencies), attending the lavish coronation of George IV of the United Kingdom in London that year (staying until 1822) and serving as a Garde du Corps of Louis XVIII. While in London he formed an acquaintance with Charles Gardiner, 1st Earl of Blessington and Marguerite, Countess of Blessington, which quickly ripened into intimacy.
The following year the couple visited him where he was stationed at Valence on the Rhone, and at the invitation of the earl he accompanied the party on their tour through Italy. They spent two months in Genoa where they became very acquainted with the poet Lord Byron. The three of them lived in Italy and then in France until the earl’s death in May 1829. After Lord Blessington died and having squandered most of his fortune D’Orsay and Lady Blessington moved to London and established a fashionable artistic and literary circle in London. She started writing and he Count made portrait drawings, oils and busts of his society friends and bronzes including this bronze of Queen Victoria.
Dimensions : 30″ (76cm) H x 24″ (61cm) W x 9″ (23cm) D