Gabriel, Comte de Mirabeau (1749-1791)

Bust
ca. 1790-ca. 1791 (made)
Gabriel, Comte de Mirabeau (1749-1791) thumbnail 1
Gabriel, Comte de Mirabeau (1749-1791) thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Europe 1600-1815, Room 1
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The Comte de Mirabeau was a prominent leader in the early days of the French Revolution. A skilled orator, he advocated a constitutional monarchy as a compromise between the revolutionaries and the supporters of the monarchy. In 1791 he was elected president of the National Assembly, but died soon after. This bust bears the initials of J.F.J. Le Riche, head of the Sculpture Studio at Sèvres from 1780-1806.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Brief Description
Porcelain bust of Gabriel comte de Mirabeau, modelled by Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche at Sèvres porcelain factory, France, about 1790-1791
Physical Description
Bust of Gabriel, Comte de Mirabeau, biscuit porcelain.
Dimensions
  • Height: 330mm
  • Width: 240mm
  • Depth: 140mm
Marks and Inscriptions
'LR / 13' (The initials of J.-F.-J. Le Riche, head of the Sculpture Studio from 1780-1806.)
Gallery Label
Honoré-Gabriel Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau About 1790–91 This luxurious and costly porcelain bust is a faithful likeness of the writer and politician the Comte de Mirabeau. The sitter’s smallpox marks are clearly visible. Mirabeau was one of the few political figures to die of natural causes during the tumultuous and bloody revolutionary years. France (Paris) Made at the Sèvres factory Modelled by Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche after a marble bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon Biscuit porcelain (09/12/2015)
Object history
After a marble bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon (see Anne L. Poulet et al, Jean-Antoine Houdon: Sculptor of the Enlightenment, 2003, pp. 21-22)

Similar busts of Mirabeau were also made by in Paris, see sale catalogue, Piasa, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 31st May, 2013, lot 132. Régine de Plinval de Guillebon has identified two factories which made them: duc d'Orléans and comte d'Artois, see de Plinval de Guillebon, Régine: Les Biscuit de Porcelaine de Paris, XVIII-XIX siècles, Editions Faton, Dijon, 2012, Liste de biscuits cités, p. 317.
Production
Biscuit medallions of Mirabeau, the champion of constitutional monarchy, are recorded in the Sèvres biscuit ovens 24 May 1791 (Erickson and de Bellaigue, p. 111)
Subjects depicted
Associations
Summary
The Comte de Mirabeau was a prominent leader in the early days of the French Revolution. A skilled orator, he advocated a constitutional monarchy as a compromise between the revolutionaries and the supporters of the monarchy. In 1791 he was elected president of the National Assembly, but died soon after. This bust bears the initials of J.F.J. Le Riche, head of the Sculpture Studio at Sèvres from 1780-1806.

Bibliographic Reference
Bourgeois, Emile. Le Biscuit de Sèvres, Plate 55, no. 433 (no modeller is named, included in date range 1780-1800)
Collection
Accession Number
276-1875

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record createdJune 7, 2004
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