Bronze vanity. Skull of the Marquis de Sade. Cast iron, numbered 20/99.

Frédéric Coridon


Bronze vanity. Skull of the Marquis de Sade.
Anangini font, numbered 20/99.
Green patina.
The signature of the Marquis is reproduced in the bronze.

After the death of the Marquis, Doctor RAMON personally attended the exhumation of the bodies during “the upheaval of the Charenton cemetery” in the 19th century.
On this occasion he had the skull of the Marquis given to him for analysis, Doctor Ramon, being inspired by the theories of Doctor GALL and his science of phrenology.
His colleague the German doctor SPURZHEIM borrowed the skull from him without returning it to carry out an analysis which proved nothing as to the correlation between the shape of the skull and the writings and thoughts of Sade.
It was only a long time later that a descendant of the Marquis found in the 20th century, in the anthropology laboratory of the Musée de l'Homme, one of the casts of the skull made by Spurzheim. From this casting, a bronze print was made in the 2000s, of which the example presented is a part.
The various doctors who looked passionately at the skull of the Marquis mostly drew the same conclusion, such as that of Doctor Ramon, “the inspection of his head would have absolved him of the accusation of such works, his skull was in every way similar to that of a Father of the Church.”

This bronze also symbolizes vanity:
Vanity of vanities, said the ecclesiastes; vanity of vanities; everything is vanity!
What profit does man derive from the trouble he puts in under the sun? A generation is leaving; a generation succeeds him; the earth, however, remains in its place. The sun is rising ; the sun sets ; then he hastily returns to the point where he must get up again. Sometimes blowing towards the south, then passing to the north, the wind turns, turns incessantly, and eternally returns on the circles it has already traced. All the rivers flow into the sea, and the sea does not overflow, and the rivers return to the place from which they flowed to flow again.
Everything is difficult to explain; man cannot account for anything; the eye is not satisfied by seeing; the ear is not filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be; what happened will happen again. Nothing new under the sun. When someone tells you about something: “Come and see, it’s new,” don’t believe it; the thing in question has already existed in the centuries that preceded us. The men of the past no longer have any memory among us; the men of the future will not leave any more among those who come after them.

Ref. : 4160
Text and photos © FCP CORIDON


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Frédéric Coridon
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