On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830
This monumental clock was a diplomatic gift presented by Napoleon to Robert Livingston, the American minister to France from 1801 to 1805. The classically inspired decoration on the clock includes a figure and relief of Apollo, the Greek sun god; a laurel wreath; and a smaller plaque representing Ganymede, the Greek wine bearer of the gods. These elements were part of the design vocabulary of the Neoclassical style, called Empire in France.
Gilded bronze, marble, enamel
33 1/2 x 26 x 9 1/4 in. (8.5 x 66.0 x 23.2 cm) (show scale)
Inscribed on clock face: "Henry Voisin A - Paris"
Gift of Mrs. Frederick A. Yenni
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Henri Voison (French, active early 19th century). Empire Clock, ca. 1800. Gilded bronze, marble, enamel, 33 1/2 x 26 x 9 1/4 in. (8.5 x 66.0 x 23.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Frederick A. Yenni, 39.438a. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 39.438a_front_PS6.jpg)
front, 39.438a_front_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
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Clock, Empire style. Case is gilt bronze, square construction with applied decoration of stars, wreaths and ribbons, surrounding a white enamel face with without glass covering. The face is inscribed. The clock case rests on a slab of marble and has to its proper right a mythological figure with one arm on top of the clock and holding a harp. To the proper left is a flame torchiere resting on a tricorn base decorated by three rams heads. A gold laurel wreath is leaning against the base of the torchiere.
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