Pair of terms with a feminine face, c.1883

Marc Maison
Pair of terms with a feminine face, c.1883
Pair of terms with a feminine face, c.1883


Period19th century

This pair of terms with a female face, from a set of four, was carved in sandstone in 1883 and adorned the dome of the Palais du Rhin in Strasbourg.

An exceptional provenance: the dome of the Palais du Rhin

The four terms, with stoic eyes, have faces of women They are capped with large flowers and volutes Their throat is embedded in the stone column embellished with some geometric carved relief These terms come from the imposing dome of the Palace of the Rhine whose four sides, with stained glass in an arc, are punctuated with two terms The original set was to include eight terms, half of which came to us Probably reproduced during the wave of restoration of the 1960s, the current terms remain almost identical to the originals that we present to you

Built after the annexation of Alsace by Germany , the Palais du Rhin symbolizes the implacation of the 2nd Reich : become German after the war of 1870 , the city of Strasbourg must build a place worthy of welcome the Emperor The Palace, which is located on the Place de la République , a former imperial square, thus relays the German project of redevelopment and reappropriation of Strasbourg in the late nineteenth century Designed by Hermann Eggert ( 1844-1920), large German architect representing Wilhelmian architecture, between 1833 and 1888, the building is characteristic of Prussian neo-Renaissance architecture : statuary art, like our beautiful pairs of terms, bosses, pediment and columns in the antique style are the most striking elements of the façade The neo-Renaissance style also presides over the interior decoration of the building, whose grand staircase is the most famous example

During the First World War , the building served as a military hospital It became a property of the French state in 1919 and took its current name of Palais du Rhin in 1920 when it became the site of the oldest European institution : The Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) Since then, it also hosts the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs of Alsace (DRAC) The Palace is transformed into Kommandantur from June 1940 to November 1944, when it becomes the headquarters of Leclerc

In September 1944 , the building fell victim to a bombing whose damage, particularly located at the northeast corner, will be repaired only twenty years later, after many debates in the 1950s during which the Palace is threatened with destruction because too little adapted to the current needs for some, too associated with the Reich for others These passionate debates, led by Pierre Pflimlin , Mayor of Strasbourg, lead to its maintenance and restoration from 1962 to 1964 , period from which the replacement of the original terms

The words: an antique inspired motif

The terms of the Palais du Rhin are characteristic of neo - Renaissance architecture, an architectural style of the nineteenth century with vague outlines typical of the ambient eclecticism..

The architectural terms have their origins in Antiquity The word term comes from the god Terminus , which, in Roman mythology , is the guardian of the landmarks that separate the grounds, after the men had decided on the individual property The statue of this god is first a stone or a tree trunk, before a face is given to him, placed on a pyramidal base - in sheath Arms and feet are denied him to ensure his role as guardian Hermes , guardian roads and intersections, is the equivalent of Terminus in Greek mythology

Gradually, the terms will lose their symbolism to become architectural ornaments and women's figures will replace those of men

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte probably has the most spectacular decor of terms: it blooms from the impressive gateway - to eight terms made by Lespagnandelle and incarnating deities and seasons - at the Grotto in the words of Thibault Poissant , including those adorning the space between the windows in the upper part of the Grand Salon

Vaux-le-Vicomte was built in the seventeenth century (1658-1661) for the superintendent of finance of Louis XIV , Nicolas Fouquet The greatest names of the time were called for its construction: Louis Le Vau , first architect of the king (1656 ), the painter and founder of the Academy of painting (1648) Charles Le Brun , whose work presents many terms, the landscape architect André Le Nôtre , controller general of the buildings of the king (1657) and the master-builder Michel Villedo


Send to a friendAsk about

Antiques dealer

Marc Maison
Marc Maison
Marché Paul Bert, Allée 6 Stand 83
+33(0)6 60 62 61 90

Other objects from this antique dealer

Marc Maison's catalog

You may also like

See all suggestions