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The winged lion

Lion ailé

At the top of the staircase of the castle of Pierrefonds, a majestic animal awaits you!

A winged griffin

Executed in 1882-1883 after the model of the sculptor Auguste Nicolas Cain, the winged lion of Pierrefonds is a work in hammered copper realized by the workshop Monduit fils.

This major piece is part of an important collection of architectural ornaments as well as numerous sculptures cast by the Monduit workshops and exhibited in the guest wing. It bears the title of Winged Griffin of the City Hall of Paris.

The figure of the winged lion such as you discover it today was very present during the history in the Middle East, but more often with a human head.

Lion ailé à l'exposition universelle de Paris en 1900
Lion ailé à l'exposition universelle de Paris en 1900

© Médiathèque de l'architecture et du patrimoine

The two make the pair!

This work, generally positioned by pair at the entrance of the palaces, embodies the power and ensures the protection of the places.

It is to be brought closer to the lions realized by the same artist for the entrances of the town hall, street Lobeau in Paris, where the animal is treated in a very naturalistic way.

At the Pierrefonds castle, the work shows us a distant inspiration.

The treatment of the mane, the adornment of the body covered with a cape with embroidered motifs as well as the cushioning of the wings in large volutes are reminiscent of borrowings from Assyrian art .

However, it is indeed a work of the nineteenth century that we are dealing with here!

Lion ailé
Lion ailé en plomb martelé à l'entrée de l'exposition Monduit

© Philippe Berthé / Centre des monuments nationaux

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