French. Twentieth Century.


Height: 43 1/3" (110 cm); Width: 12' 9" (387 cm).

Of terracotta, modeled after the Hôtel de Ville, Nancy, France. Now backed onto a later board.

This monumental bas relief model, measuring 3.87 meters in length, depicts the Hôtel de Ville of Nancy, France (figure 1), as it was designed by Emmanuel Héré in the mid-eighteenth century, as part of the urban redevelopment plans of Stanislas I, deposed king of Poland and Duke of Lorraine.

In 1704, Stanislas Leszczyński (1677-1766) was elected King of Poland after the successful invasion of the country by Sweden, leading to his selection by Charles XII of Sweden to supersede Augustus II. However, he was forced to abdicate in 1710 when Augustus II was placed back on the Polish throne through the intervention of Russia and Austria. Stanislas refused to relinquish his title, however, creating the unusual situation whereby there were two kings of Poland. When Charles XII died, Stanislas sought refuge in Zweibrücken and then Alsace. In 1725 his daughter Maria became queen consort to Louis XV of France, and he resided at the Château de Chambord, along with his wife, Catherine Opalinska, until 1733.

The king of France supported his father-in-law’s claims to the Polish throne and, upon the death of Augustus in 1733, Stanislas traveled back to Poland in disguise and presented himself at the Convocation Diet in Warsaw where he was elected King of Poland once more. The victory was short-lived, however, when his reinstatement sparked the War of the Polish Succession. As a result of this conflict, Augustus III was placed on the Polish throne and Stanislas was given the Duchy of Lorraine and Bar as recompense, where he reigned from 1737 until his death in 1766.

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.