Signed Jean Baptiste Carpeaux Saint George and Dragon Bronze Sculpture Statue
Condition: This sculpture is in perfect condition.
Bronze Dimensions with Marble Base:Height 9" x Width 5"
Marble Dimensions: 5" X 3 1/2"
Height without base: 8"
Weight : 6 LBS
This astonishing piece of saint George and the dragon is a work of art and a one of a kind. Beautifully made with amazing details this sculpture is a historic piece. This heavy sculpture is made from solid bronze and was casted using the "Lost Wax Method". It has a brown patina and is mounted atop of a round black marble base, Signed by Carpeaux.
According to the Golden Legend
the narrative episode of Saint George and the Dragon took place in a place he called "Silene," in Libya
; the Golden Legend
is the first to place this legend in Libya as a sufficiently exotic locale, where a dragon might be imagined. In the tenth-century Georgian narrative, the place is the fictional city of Lasia, and it is the godless Emperor who is Selinus
The town had a pond, as large as a lake
, where a plague
dwelled that envenomed
all the countryside. To appease the dragon, the people of Silene used to feed it two sheep
every day, and when the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery
. It happened that the lot fell on the king's daughter, who is in some versions of the story called Sabra.
The king, distraught with grief, told the people they could have all his gold
and half of his kingdom if his daughter were spared; the people refused. The daughter was sent out to the lake, decked out as a bride
, to be fed to the dragon. Saint George
by chance rode past the lake. The princess, trembling, sought to send him away, but George vowed to remain. The dragon reared out of the lake while they were conversing. Saint George fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross
charged it on horseback with his lance and gave it a grievous wound. Then he called to the princess to throw him her girdle, and he put it around the dragon's neck. When she did so, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash. She and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene, where it terrified the people at its approach. But Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptised, he would slay the dragon before them. The king and the people of Silene converted to Christianity
, George slew the dragon, and the body was carted out of the city on four ox-carts. "Fifteen thousand men baptized, without women and children." On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary
and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all disease
Traditionally, the sword
with which St. George slew the dragon was called Ascalon
, a name recalling the city of Ashkelon
. From this tradition, the name Ascalon
was used by Winston Churchill
for his personal aircraft during World War II
(records at Bletchley Park
), since St. George is the Patron
While a student in Rome, Carpeaux submitted a plaster version of Pêcheur napolitain à la coquille
, the Neapolitan Fisherboy
, to the French Academy
. He carved the marble version several years later, showing it in the Salon exhibition of 1863. It was purchased for Napoleon III
's empress, Eugènie
. The statue of the young smiling boy was very popular, and Carpeaux created a number of reproductions and variations in marble and bronze. There is a copy, for instance, in the Samuel H. Kress Collection in the National Gallery of Art
in Washington D.C.
. Some years later, he carved the Girl with a Shell, a very similar study.
The Art of Lost Wax
Lost wax casting has been around for thousands of years, yet few people
understand how the process actually works.
Although mechanization has facilitated the lost wax process of bronze
casting, the procedure is basically the same as that used by the Chinese when
they first developed the process in the 2nd millennium BC.
The Rubber Mold
First the artist creates an original sculpture out of any number of media,
including stone, wax, clay, wood and pottery.
This image is coated with a silicone rubber molding material that makes
two rubber mold halves (each rubber mold has a front and a back piece). A
fiberglass outer shell is added to the back of each mold so it retains its
shape and rigidity during subsequent uses.
These molds are the only components that are ever re-used in the casting
process. All other components are re-created for each casting.
The Wax Positive
Once the molds are done, the insides are coated with layers of wax. The
halves are then bound together and wax poured inside to complete the wax
image being created.
Once the wax has cooled, the mold is peeled away, yielding a wax image
(the wax positive") duplicating the original sculpture.
This image must then be "touched -up" to remove any seam lines, scratches
or other flaws, as well as to recreate any pattern or texturing that was
lost or damaged when the wax was made.
The quality of the finished bronze relies on a clean, high quality mold
and an impeccably recreated wax image that is as near to perfect as possible.
The next step, "gating", is the application of a series of tubes and
funnels that allow the molten bronze to flow through to the bottom of the
ceramic shell and the hot gases to escape at the same time.
These sprus are created by attaching wax rods to the finished wax form at
strategically spaced locations.
Ceramic Shell Casting
After the gating is completed each wax form is dipped in a liquid ceramic
silica-sand compound so it is completely coated inside and out. Holes
called "patches" have been cut into the wax to allow an entrance to the inside
of the form.
The form is subsequently dipped 6 to 12 or more times over a period of
several days until the desired shell thickness is achieved.
Once these ceramic shells have dried thoroughly the pieces are placed into
an autoclave and the wax is melted out (hence the term "lost wax"), to be
reclaimed and used again. The shells are then cured in a kiln so they will
withstand the temperature of the molten bronze being poured into them.
Bronze ingots are melted to a temperature of approximately 2000ï¿½F and
poured into the cured ceramic shells.
As the sculpture cools the ceramic shell begins to pop away from the
This shell will be completely broken away, using a hammer and chisel,
before the superfluous metal materials are cut away.
The casting is then sandblasted in preparation for metal finishing.
Any pieces of a sculpture that were cast separately are welded back onto
the sculpture and any seam lines or other imperfections are removed or
Finally, any texturing that was lost or damaged in the casting or welding
process is recreated.
The sculpture is then polished in preparation for application of the
The different colored finishes that are possible on cast bronze sculptures
are called patina's.
The various colors, patterns and textures obtained in the patina process
are achieved through a combined application of chemicals and heat, augmented
by hand stippling, or spraying with an air brush, and sealed with lacquer
Most bronzes are part of a "limited edition" containing a fixed number of
This edition number is decided by the artist, usually after the first
piece has been cast, and individually stamped on each piece (i.e. 1/100) thus
concluding the process of bronze sculpture production.
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