Bust of a Man

Object Details


Bust of a Man


Unknown maker, French




second half of 18th century


Terracotta on marble socle


53 x 30.2 x 27.3 cm (20 7/8 x 11 7/8 x 10 3/4 in.)

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Taking advantage of the speed with which he could model the soft material of terracotta, the sculptor fashioned an informal and spontaneous portrait bust. He rendered the sitter's face--where the sitter's character is most fully revealed--with great care, while the clothes, hair, and especially the back of the head were treated more sketchily. These areas show the sculptor's handling of the clay, creating incised lines on the front of the clothes and smooth planes on the cheeks.

Made to adorn a French interior, this type of bust was very popular in the 1700s. Because terracotta was relatively inexpensive, both middle class and wealthy consumers could purchase artworks made of this material for their homes.

before 1906

Jacques Doucet, 1853 - 1929 (Paris, France) [sold, Hotel Drouot, Paris, May 16-17, 1906, lot 130]

by 1935 - 1963

René Fribourg (New York, New York) [sold, The René Fribourg Collection:VII, Catalogue of French 18th-Century and Empire Furniture, Clocks and Works of Art, Part 2, Sotheby's London, October 17-18, 1963, lot 729, to Marcusson]

1963 -


after 1963 - 1970

C.F. af Peterson (London, England)

by 1977 - 1982

Heim Gallery (London), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1982.