Bust of Louis XV

Object Details


Bust of Louis XV


Mennecy Porcelain Manufactory (French, active 1735 - 1773)




Mennecy, France (Place created)


about 1750 - 1755


Soft-paste porcelain


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

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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.

Paris: Life & Luxury (April 26, 2011 to January 2, 2012) (47)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 26 to August 7, 2011