Two architectural sculptures created by Joseph Deschamps (1743-1788), who worked in the service of Queen Marie-Antoinette, have greeted visitors to the West Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 1928. This pair of monumental bas-reliefs, entitled “The Race of Atalanta” and “Hippomenes and The Triumph of Flora” are plaster models created between 1785 and 1788 for marble sculptures that were commissioned for the royal Château de Saint-Cloud of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette. The plaster models are notable rarities and underline the importance of great French art and architecture within the Museum’s collection as a whole. In the fall of 2020, the Museum’s west entrance—known as Lenfest Hall—will reopen as part of the Core Project, a multi-year, $208 million building renovation. The two sculptures will continue to welcome visitors to this renovated major entrance.
Restoration to treat these reliefs to harmonize with the architectural transformation of the space