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Bust

  • Place of origin:


    London (probably, cast)

  • Date:

    1920-1925

  • Materials and Techniques:

    cast plaster

  • Museum number:

    REPRO.A.1925-8

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 2 (Serilly Cabinet), case EXP

This is a plaster cast, made in about 1925, of a bust of Anne-Marie-Louise de Pange (1762-99) who was married to Antoine Mégret de Sérilly. The couple lived in a magnificent house in Paris, the Hôtel Mègret de Sérilly, in the Marais district. Mme de Serilly was lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette and renowned for her beauty. Her husband and brother were guillotined during the Terror, at the height of the French Revolution. She herself was spared as she claimed she was pregnant. She subsequently married twice, but died aged only thirty-six in 1799.

The magnificent marble bust of which this is a cast copy is by Jean-Antoine Houdon, perhaps the foremost sculptor of the eighteenth century in France and particularly praised for his portrait busts. It is signed and dated 1782 and is in the Wallace Collection, London. It was exhibited in the Salon in Paris in 1783, a terracotta of Mme de Sérilly having been exhibited in the Salon by Houdon two years previously.

The Art Historian H H Arnason, commenting on the marble original in his biography of Houdon (1975) wrote, ‘this is the consummate type of the late Baroque and rococo portrait of a noblewoman, presented with the decorative grace of an earlier time…she belongs to an age of elegance rapidly drawing to a close’.

Physical description

The upper arms are wrapped in a flowing cloak, which encompasses the figure, acts as a base, and extends in finished detail across the back.

Place of Origin


London (probably, cast)

Date

1920-1925

Materials and Techniques

cast plaster

Dimensions

Height: 60 cm

Descriptive line

Plaster cast, of marble bust of Madame de Sérilly by J-A Houdon

Labels and date

Bust of Madame de Sérilly
About 1925

Madame de Sérilly (1762–99) was famous for her beauty. The daughter of a marquis, she married Antoine Megret de Sérilly at the age of 16. Her husband was guillotined during the French Revolution. She narrowly escaped the same fate by claiming that she was pregnant.

Original 1782
After Jean-Antoine Houdon
Plaster
[09/12/2015]

Materials

Plaster

Techniques

Cast

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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