This marble sculpture titled 'La Terre' (eng. Earth) is a statue by Benoit Massou (1633-1684), sculpted between 1675-1681. He was responsible for many of the sculptures in the park and gardens around the Palace of Versailles. He was part of the team of sculptors led by Charles Le Brun, the first painter to the king, to compose the layout of the field.
This piece is part of a series of sculptures in the Gardens of the Palace of Versailles depicting one of the four elements. The sculpture depicts the allegorical figure of the personification of the Earth (a common theme in romanticism, many examples can be found at The Palace of Versailles, Albert Memorial and similar sculptures made in the 1800s). She holds in her left hand a cornucopia, beside her right leg is a lion which symbolizes the king of animals. She is also crowned with flowers and fruits. Since 2008 the original was place inside the lower gallery of Versailles, with a copy placed in its gardens.
This is part of a series of sculptures of the Grande Commande, commissioned by King Louis XIV in 1674 for the Gardens of Versailles.
The initial project was proposed in 1674 and plans were drawn up by Charles Le Brun as to what the series of 24 sculptures could depict. The idea was to be "designed as a broad review of the effects of God on the world and a unity of man and nature" with personifications of various natural phenomenons and landmarks. The 24 sculptures were separated into individual series of four sculptures, depicting:
The Four Times of the Day - Morning, Midday, Evening, Night
Four Continents of the World - Europe, Asia, Africa, America
The Four Seasons - Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
The Four Elements - Earth, Air, Fire, Water
The Four Human Temperaments - The Choleric, The Phlegmatic, The Sanguine, The Melancholic
The Four Poems - The Heroic Poem, The Lyric, The Satirical, The Pastoral
This object is part of "Scan The World". Scan the World is a non-profit initiative introduced by MyMiniFactory, through which we are creating a digital archive of fully 3D printable sculptures, artworks and landmarks from across the globe for the public to access for free. Scan the World is an open source, community effort, if you have interesting items around you and would like to contribute, email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help.