Location Seen: Paris Flea Market, Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine, Île-de-France, France
Artist: Mathurin Moreau
Born: November 18, 1822, Dijon, France
Died: February 14, 1912, Paris, France
Title: Ceres, goddess for harvests, agriculture and fertility
Original Location: TBD
About: This artistic foundry was founded in 1835 by Jean Pierre Victor André, inventor of the ornamental cast irons. The foundry, with its workshops settled in the VaJ d'Osne (in the French department of the Haute-Mame), was first created in order to produce urban furniture and decorative cast irons, but quickly became France's greatest artistic foundry under the name of « Fonde.rie d'art du Val d'Osne ». Hippolyte Anciré (1826-1891) was appointed as the firm's head at the death of his uncle. The growing firm absorbed then several competitive establishments, like Barbezat or Ducel.
Mathurin Moreau comes from a family of sculptors: his father Jean-Baptiste, as well as his two brothers, Hippolyte and Auguste, were sculptors too. He was 21 years old when he received the second Prix de Rome, in 1842. He began displaying his work in the Salon in 1848 and was immediately noticed. During the 1855 World's Fair, he displayed with success a great fountain, which seduced the city of Bordeaux, and brought him to the top of the decorative arts stage. He won numerous awards during his career, in particular at 1859, 1861, and 1863 Salons, and at the 1867, 1878, and 1889 World's Fairs.
Starting in 1849 and for three decades, he collaborated with the Val d'Osne foundry, for which he made remarkable models for fountains, candelabras, or even garden statues like ours. His models decorate the public space of France but also Geneva, Liverpool, and even Buenos Aires and Peruvian cities.
We learn that this statue is presented in the foundry's catalog, depicting Ceres, the goddess of harvests, agriculture, and fertility. She is wearing an antique tunic, falling down her body, underlining her breasts, with the drapery following her leg's movements.
According to mythology, Ceres, the one holding a wheat sheaf, is supposed to be the origin of the four seasons.