After Jean-Baptiste Pigalle
bronze with copper brown patina
Late 19th century
Height 22 x width 16 x depth 15 inches.
Property from the Michael Hall Collection, Miami Beach, Florida
After studying in Rome for five years, Pigalle returned to France in 1740 where he created the model for his most well-known sculpture, the seated statue of Mercury. The work was very well-received, and Pigalle was accepted into the Académie Royale; he quickly received commissions from Louis XV and his entourage.
By the 1750s, Pigalle was able to devote himself almost exclusively to official commissions and produced a number of large-scale, public monuments. His most important patron was Madame de Pompadour, for whom he executed several projects including garden statues and portraits.
The offered lot is a copy after Pigalle’s Mercury, executed in 1744 and now in the collection of the Musée du Louvre.
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.