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Bust - Josephine Bonaparte
  • Josephine Bonaparte
    Chinard, Joseph, born 1756 - died 1813
  • Enlarge image

Josephine Bonaparte

  • Object:

    Bust

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1808 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Chinard, Joseph, born 1756 - died 1813 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Marble bust

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss F.H. Spiers

  • Museum number:

    A.36-1939

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 1, case EXP, shelf BY PL3

Joseph Chinard (1756-1815), the sculptor of this bust, was trained initially in Lyon but travelled to Rome where he stayed 1784-87. Here he was highly influenced by the sculpture of antiquity, in terms both of subject and style. He won a prize from the Accademia di San Luca for a terracotta sculpture of Perseus and Andromeda (still in the Accademia collection). He returned to Rome again in 1791.

Chinard carved a considerable number of marble busts for members of the Bonaparte family and was known particularly for his portraits of women. This bust was apparently an official portrait of Josephine Bonaparte (1763-1814), wife of Napoleon, and several versions are known including in terracotta. A marble bust of Josephine by Chinard, similar to this one, was recorded as being shown at the official Salon in Paris in 1808.

Josephine's dress has a low-cut bodice with anthemion (honeysuckle) ornament, echoed in her diadem; one of the most popular motifs at the time, derived from classical antiquity and used frequently in the Neoclassical and then Empire style.

Physical description

Marble bust of Josephine Bonaparte

Place of Origin

France (made)

Date

ca. 1808 (made)

Artist/maker

Chinard, Joseph, born 1756 - died 1813 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Marble bust

Dimensions

Height: 68 cm, Width: 47 cm, Depth: 29 cm, :

Object history note

This bust was apparently an official portrait of Josephine Bonaparte (1763-1814) and several versions are known. Bequeathed by Miss F.H. Spiers.

Historical context note

Chinard carved a considerable number of busts for members of the Bonaparte family and was known particularly for his portraits of women.

Descriptive line

Marble bust of Josephine Bonaparte, by Joseph Chinard, France, ca. 1808

Labels and date

Bust: Empress Josephine
About 1808

Chinard spent much of his career in his native Lyons, and was probably the best French sculptor of his time working outside Paris. He carved several busts of members of the Bonaparte family and was known particularly for his portraits of women. This bust of Josephine Bonaparte (1763-1814), made a year before her divorce, was apparently an official portrait. [31/03/2017]
Bust of Josephine Bonaparte
About 1808

Josephine de Beauharnais married Napoleon in 1796 and was crowned Empress of the French in 1804. Josephine placed large, influential commissions for the re-decoration of her palaces. She also wore the newest fashions, such as the high-waisted dress with low-cut bodice shown here. The honeysuckle ornament on the dress derived from classical antiquity and was often used in the Empire style. The need for an heir led Napoleon to divorce Josephine, but she remained a powerful tastemaker.

France (Paris)
By Joseph Chinard
Marble
Bequeathed by Miss F.H. Spiers
[09/12/2015]
'American and European Art and Design 1987-2006'

Chinard carved a considerable number of busts for members of the Bonaparte family and was known particularly for his portraits of women. This was apparently an official portrait of Josephine Bonaparte (1763-1814) and several versions are known. [1987-2006]

Materials

Marble

Techniques

Carved

Categories

Sculpture; Portraits

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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