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Gabriel, Comte de Mirabeau (1749-1791)

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1790-ca. 1791 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Le Riche, Josse-François-Joseph (modeller)
    Sèvres porcelain factory (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Biscuit porcelain

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 1, case CA11

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.

Physical description

Bust of Gabriel, Comte de Mirabeau, biscuit porcelain.

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1790-ca. 1791 (made)


Le Riche, Josse-François-Joseph (modeller)
Sèvres porcelain factory (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Biscuit porcelain

Marks and inscriptions

'LR / 13'
The initials of J.-F.-J. Le Riche, head of the Sculpture Studio from 1780-1806.


Height: 330 mm, Width: 240 mm, Depth: 140 mm

Object history note

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.

Descriptive line

Porcelain bust of Gabriel comte de Mirabeau, modelled by Josse-François-Joseph Le Riche at Sèvres porcelain factory, France, about 1790-1791

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

Bourgeois, Emile. Le Biscuit de Sèvres, Plate 55, no. 433 (no modeller is named, included in date range 1780-1800)

Labels and date

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

Production Note

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

Statesmen; Busts; Politicians


Ceramics; Porcelain; Sculpture; Portraits; Figures & Decorative ceramics


Ceramics Collection

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