The J. Paul Getty Museum

Bust of Louis XV

Object Details

Title:

Bust of Louis XV

Artist/Maker:

Mennecy Porcelain Manufactory (French, active 1735 - 1773)

Culture:

French

Place:

Mennecy, France (Place Created)

Date:

about 1750–1755

Medium:

Soft-paste porcelain

Object Number:

84.DE.46

Dimensions:

43.2 × 24.3 × 14.4 cm (17 × 9 9/16 × 5 11/16 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

Made of soft-paste porcelain, this large bust was probably fired in the kilns of Mennecy, which were only 22.5 centimeters high. As this sculpture is 42.5 centimeters tall, the king's bust had to be fired separately from the base and then joined together above the crown. The king's head sunk slightly in the kiln, giving him a rather raised ribcage.

Louis XV appears at the height of his powers, at about the age of forty. The bust was probably inspired by a marble sculpture by Jacques-François-Joseph Sally, which was erected in the town of Valenciennes in 1752. The decorations on the plinth include the arms of France beneath the crown surrounded by swords, a cannon, drums, and battle standards.

Provenance
Provenance
- 1910

Private Collection (Paris, France) [sold, Tableaux Anciens [...], Sculptures du XVIIIe Siècle [...], Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 14, 1910, no. 44, to "Paulman," for 11,000 francs.]

1948

Michel Vandermeersch (Paris, France)
Source: Dealer report from the Antique Porcelain Company, 1984, in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, J. Paul Getty Museum.

by 1953 -

William Brown Meloney, American, 1905 - 1971 and Rose Franken (Mrs. William Brown Meloney), American (Riverdale, New York)
Source: Dealer report from the Antique Porcelain Company, 1984, in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department, J. Paul Getty Museum.

- 1984

The Antique Porcelain Company (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Paris: Life & Luxury (April 26, 2011 to January 2, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 26 to August 7, 2011
Bibliography
Bibliography

Comstock, Helen. 100 Most Beautiful Rooms in America (New York: The Studio Publications, Inc., 1958), p. 202, ill.

Craven, Babette. "French Soft Paste Porcelain in the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. William Brown Meloney." Connoisseur 143 (May 1959), pp. 138, 142, ill.

"Recent Ceramic Acquisitions by Major Museums." Burlington Magazine 127, no. 986 (May 1985), p. 345, no. 54, ill.

"Acquisitions/1984." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 13 (1985), p. 179, no. 55, ill.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 71, no. 157, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 160, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 176, ill.

Ayres, Linda, ed. The Spirit of Genius: Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum, exh. cat. (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1992), p. 116, under no. 221, entry by Linda H. Roth.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), p. 124, no. 208, ill.

Le Duc, Geneviève. Porcelaine tendre de Chantilly au XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Hazan, 1996), pp. 194-97, ill.

Fusco, Peter. Summary Catalogue of European Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 63, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 212, ill.

Roth, Linda H.,and Clare Le Corbeiller. French Eighteenth-Century Porcelain at the Wadsworth Atheneum: The J. Pierpont Morgan Collection (Hartford, Conn.: Wadsworth Atheneum, 2000), pp. 46, 48 nn. 5, 16, p. 49.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 106-07, no. 217, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 212, ill.

Bremer-David, Charissa, ed. Paris: Life & Luxury in the Eighteenth Century, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), p. 124, no. 47, ill.