Jan 18, 2008

The Game of Leap Frog

The Game of Leap Frog


designed by

Jean Guillaume Moitte

(French, 1746–1810)

executed by

Antoine-François Gérard

(French, 1760–1843)

Wax on slate

Framed: 30 x 53.5 x 4 cm (11 13/16 x 21 1/16 x 1 9/16 in.); Overall: 40.7 cm (16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1944.237



This decorative frieze follows the design of Moitte, an artist known for reliefs, especially in the beginning stages of his career. Some of Moitte's favorite subjects in this period were Bacchic scenes of antiquity. These images of revelry and sensuousness are based on classical narratives; however, there is no evidence that the ancients played games of leapfrog, and so the subject is Moitte's invention, with a contemporary game of leapfrog performed by the mythical cohorts of Bacchus. The design of the drapery is typical of Moitte, especially the keenly animated dress. Moitte's early technique emulated painting in bas-relief. The sculptor, Gérard, follows Moitte's design, using the unusual mediums of slate and wax. His technique is not entirely understood, however, it is thought to be a combination of modeling and carving.

See also
Type of artwork: 
Wax on slate

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