Princess Marie of Orléans (12 April 1813 – 6 January 1839) was a French princess, artist, and, by her marriage, duchess of Württemberg (1837). Before her marriage she was styled Mademoiselle de Valois
She was the third child (and second daughter) of Louis-Philippe, King of the French, and his wife Maria Amalia, daughter of King Ferdinand IV of Naples. She was solidly educated on her father's insistence, and took up sculpture and drawing. She had her own studio installed in the Tuileries Palace in which she would work.
A student of Ary Scheffer, she was a talented artist, practicing sculpture and drawing. Toward the end of her short career, d'Orléans focused her on sculpting images of Joan of Arc, completing many works depicting this patriotic subject including a large sculpture for Versailles, commissioned by King Louis-Philipe.
According to her teacher, Ary Scheffer, she "dreamed of an elevated life as an artist, and of exercising a profound influence over the art in France." Many of her works survive, in collections at the Clark Art Institute, Snite Museum of Art, and the Museum of Dordrecht.
The first of these two beautiful bronzes is of Joan of Arc and is almost an exact copy of the marble statue that Marie created in the palace of Versailles in Paris. The detail is stunning even down to the sword being removable. Fortunately, after more than 180 years, it is still there. The statue stands 29 centimetres tall and is extremely heavy.
There have been many thousands of statues of Joan of Arc since her death in 1431 but this one is very rare and very special. Not only because of the artist but also because it is a pair with a statue of the companion of Saint Joan, Pieronne of Brittany, also known as Perrinaïc or Pierette. I have never seen another statue of Pieronne of Brittany
Pieronne was a companion of Joan who she met in 1429 and remained with her until Pieronne was captured at Compiegne 23rd May 1430. After her arrest she publicly supported Joan and was condemned to death. She was executed on 3rd September 1430 on the forecourt of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. She is considered a Martyr of France.