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Bust - Comtesse de Feuquières
  • Comtesse de Feuquières
    Lemoyne, Jean-Baptiste, born 1704 - died 1778
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Comtesse de Feuquières

  • Object:

    Bust

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1738 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lemoyne, Jean-Baptiste, born 1704 - died 1778 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    terracotta, modelled

  • Museum number:

    A.25-1959

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 4, case CA1

In 1738, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (1704-1778; the Younger; his father was also a sculptor) exhibited at the Salon a terracotta bust of Catherine Mignard (1652-1742), Comtesse de Feuquières, daughter of Pierre Mignard. In 1735 the Comtesse had commissioned Lemoyne to execute a monument to her father, which should include his bust by François Girardon and a statue of herself mourning his death. Completed in 1744 it was placed in the church of the Jacobins, Rue St Honoré, Paris. At the Revolution it was dismembered and partly destroyed, but the Girardon bust was set up later on a bracket in the church of St Roch and much later the bust of the Comtesse was set up alongside the bust of her father.

It has been suggested (Réau, Les Lemoyne, 1927) that this V&A bust was the preparatory sketch for the bust exhibited at the Salon, presumably because of its sketchy appearance, but it might perhaps be the 1738 Salon bust itself. Lemoyne excelled in portrait busts in marble and terracotta and this is a particularly lively example of his work.

Physical description

The head of this terracotta bust is turned slightly to the subject's left. She wears a veil over her hair. The bust terminates with drapery around the base of the neck. The back part of the veil is modelled and fired separately. The bust is unsigned. The bust is set on a circular white marble socle.

Place of Origin

France (made)

Date

ca.1738 (made)

Artist/maker

Lemoyne, Jean-Baptiste, born 1704 - died 1778 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

terracotta, modelled

Dimensions

Height: 50 cm includes socle of 12.7cm, Width: 24 cm, Depth: 25 cm, Weight: 30 kg, Weight: 16 kg measured for Europe 1600-1800

Object history note

In 1738 Lemoyne exhibited at the Salon a terracotta bust of Comtesse de Feuquières, daughter of Pierre Mignard. In 1735 she had commissioned Lemoyne to execute a monument to her father, to include his bust by Girardon and a statue of herself mourning his death. Completed in 1744 it was placed in the church of the Jacobins, Rue St Honoré. At the Revolution it was dismembered and partly destroyed, but the Girardon bust was set up later on a bracket in the church of St Roch and much later the bust of the Comtesse was set up alongside the bust of her father. It has been suggested (Réau, Les Lemoyne, 1927) that this V&A bust was the preparatory sketch for the bust exhibited at the Salon, presumably because of its sketchy appearance, but it might perhaps be the 1738 Salon bust itself.

Previously in the collection of David Weill (where it was known as Mlle. Clairon). Bought at Sotheby's on July 3rd, 1959, lot 63 (Property of a Gentleman).

Lemoyne excelled in portrait busts in marble and terracotta and this is a particularly lively example of his work.

Descriptive line

Bust, sketch-model, terracotta, of Comtesse de Feuquières, by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, France, ca. 1738

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

T.Hodgkinson, French 18th century Portrait Sculpture in the V&A Museum, in: V&A Yearbook 3, 1972, p.100

Labels and date

The Comtesse de Feuquières
About 1738

This bust was a study for a full-length portrait of the Comtesse de Feuquières. She commissioned it for a monument to her father, Pierre Mignard, court painter to Louis XIV. As she requested, it portrays her as a grieving daughter. She sheds a tear of grief from her left eye, her hair is covered by a veil, and she is probably wearing mourning dress.

France (Paris)
By Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne
Terracotta

The Encyclopédie, Vol. 4, 1754:

‘Mourning, a distinctive garment worn to express one’s sadness in times of misfortune, most commonly for funeral ceremonies. Each nation has had its reason for choosing a certain colour to identify the mourner. In France, the law of 1730 reduced the longest period of mourning to three months, with the exception of mourning for husband and wife, father, mother, grandparents and legatees.’ [09/12/2015]

Materials

Terracotta

Techniques

Modelled

Categories

Portraits; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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