This marble sculpture titled 'Le Flegmatique' (eng. Phlegmatic, meaning sluggish or apathetic) was made between 1675-1679 by French sculptor Matthieu Lespagnandelle (1616-1689). The statue was made alongside three other sculptures personifying the allegory of the human conditions of man : The Choleric, The Blood and The Melancholic. This phlegmatic temperament, which is someone of cold or slow character, is represented by an older man with his arms folded, shrouded in a thick cloak. At his feet is a tortoise, symbollic of being a slow and quiet animal.
The original sculpture was removed from the park in 2007. Very eroded, it was sheltered in the lower gallery of Versailles after its restoration. A plaster mold now replaces it in the 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 email@example.com to find out how you can help.