Jean Jacques Pradier
inscribed Pradier Sculpt Gautier & Cie.
Height 13 1/2 x width 9 x depth 10 inches.
Property from the Michael Hall Collection, Miami Beach, Florida
James Pradier (born Jean-Jacques) is widely considered an artist essential to the development of Neoclassical sculpture in early nineteenth-century Europe. His abilities were recognized early in his career, being awarded the gold medal for his sculpture Une Nymphe (A Nymph) at the 1819 Salon. From that year until his death in 1852, he enjoyed commissions from important collectors including King Louis Philippe, commissions for public works for French municipalities including Paris, Arles and Versailles and a large number of sculpture commissions for the State. His works are in museum collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay.
By all accounts, Michael Hall, actor, collector and art dealer, was a memorable character who led a truly remarkable life. Michael delighted in being outrageous - frequently the life of the party, always with an entertaining repertory of anecdotes and jokes. Michael was also a very serious collector with an inquisitive nature, extremely passionate and opinionated concerning his chosen field of Renaissance and Baroque Works of Art, and was always willing to share his vast knowledge.
Michael was mentored by Wilhelm Valentiner, a specialist in Italian Renaissance Art and then a consultant to what would become the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Through Valentiner, Hall was introduced to Sir John Pope-Hennessy and Sir Kenneth Clark, and formed friendships with a number of authorities including Rudolf Wittkower, H.W. Janson and Francis Watson.
In 1963, Hall moved to New York, and with William Mills, opened a gallery at 6 East 79th Street. His clients grew to include among others, Charles and Jayne Wrightsman, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Art, Boston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Detroit Institute of Art.
In later years, Michael and his husband, Thomas divided time between their Florida, New York and Connecticut residences, but never stopped enjoying and collecting decorative arts. Those who knew Michael would agree his passion for collecting knew no bounds.