Bowes Museum: The Winged Victory of Samothrace

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The above marble sculpture dates to circa 1863 and is a copy of The Winged Victory of Samothrace. Also known as the Nike of Samothrace, it was discovered in 1863 on the Greek island of Samothrace by the French consul and amateur archaeologist Charles Champoiseau. The original statue is thought to have been created between 100 and 300 BC to honour Nike, the goddess of victory and messenger of Zeus and Athena. Considered to be one of the finest examples of Hellenistic period sculpture, the goddess is depicted descending from the skies with extended wings. A plaster replica now stands in the museum at the original location of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace.

Bowes Museum: Sleeping Child

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Dating to circa 1855, the above French sculpture depicts a sleeping child on an oval draped marble base. The white marble child lies partially on his right side with his head and chest raised by the base. Similarly, the white marble child below also dates to circa 1855. The sleeping child lies on a draped bed with the head resting on a tasselled pillow. The right hand rests on the chest with the thumb holding a cord from which a crucifix is suspended.

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Bowes Museum: Pauline Bonaparte

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The above marble bust dates to circa 1810 and depicts Pauline Bonaparte, sister of Napoleon. Attributed to P.Jurany, Pauline is depicted with her hair braided in the classical style that was typical of the early nineteenth century. The Regency style in England and the First Empire style in France exchanged many design ideas based around classical and ancient Egyptian decoration.

Bowes Museum: Louis XVIII

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The above bronze bust dates to circa 1820 and is the work of the French sculptor Baron Francois Joseph Bosio. The bust depicts Louis XVIII who was born in 1755 and was the fourth son of the dauphin Louis, the son of Louis XV. He was king of France by title from 1795 and following his death in 1824, he was succeeded by his brother, the comte d’Artois, as Charles X.

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Bowes Museum: View on the Coast of Scotland

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The above oil on canvas painting is the work of the 19th century French marine artist Baron Jean Antoine Théodore Gudin. Having married the Hon. Margaret-Louis Hay, Gudin spent a considerable amount of time in Scotland, particularly at Dunrobin Castle and Seaton, with his wife’s relatives. The painting depicts the treacherous headland to the south of Aberdeen Harbour known as Girdle Ness.

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Bowes Museum: St Augustine appearing to prevent a Plague of Locusts

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The above oil sketch in grisaille (monochrome) dates to 1734 and is thought likely to be related to a painting of the same subject, which is now in the Prado in Milan, by the 18th century Spanish artist Miguel Jacinto Menendez. The painting in the Prado is also a preparatory study for a lost work which was painted for the transept of the church of San Felipe el Real in Madrid. The above sketch represents a miracle that happened in 1268 when a plague of locusts threatened to destroy crops around Toledo. The prayers of the archbishop and his flock were answered when St Augustine appeared and drove the locusts to their death in the river Tajo. Menendez became an official painter to Philip V, the first Bourbon king of Spain, in 1712 and produced a large number of royal portraits and religious compositions.

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Bowes Museum: Perseus and Andromeda

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The above oil on panel is dated 1720 and is the work of the 18th century Dutch artist Hendrik Jacob Hoet. Depicting a mythological scene from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Andromeda appears half naked and shackled to the rocks by the sea. The skull and bones in the foreground of the painting represent her fate while Perseus rides the winged horse Pegasus wielding a sword to rescue her.

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Bowes Museum: Ship in Stormy Sea

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The above oil on panel is the work of the 19th century French maritime painter Jean-Baptiste Henri Durand-Brager. Dating to between 1838-1867, the scene depicts the struggle of a ship braving a stormy sea. It is highly likely that Durand-Brager would have witnessed such a scene having travelled to the Atlantic coast of Africa as part of the expedition to return Napoleon’s remains from the island of St Helena in 1840.

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Bowes Museum: View at Montfort I’Amanry

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The above oil on panel is the work of the 19th century French landscape painter Adrien Dauzats. Born in Bordeaux, Dauzats began his career as a theatrical scene painter and designer of lithographic illustrations. The painting is of a town in Seine et Oise and depicts one of the sloping streets that surround the 15th century Gothic church.

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Bowes Museum: Allegory of Innocence and Guile

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The above oil on panel is the work of the 16th century Dutch portrait and religious painter Maerten van Heemskerck. Studying in the school of Jan van Scorel, Van Heemskerck worked in Italy where he studied the Renaissance masters. He returned to his native country in 1535 where he continued to paint in the Italian style. The subject of this painting is a personification of a verse from the Gospel of St Matthew (10:16) and depicts a young woman richly dressed. Such subjects were painted for public buildings, such as courts, as a reminder of standards expected from people in high office.

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