Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery

The Clodion Venus

Bust
1873 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This bust was described as 'The Clodion Venus' when it was acquired from the manufacturers, Messrs Minton, in 1873. Mintons evidently thought the sculpture it was based on was by the French artist Claude Michel, known as Clodion (1738-1814). In fact the bust is a variant of a well-known sculpture of a shivering girl, ‘La Frileuse’ (or ‘Winter’), by the French artist, Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828). In Mintons' version the girl’s cloak has been removed, and she has been re-defined as Venus.

Parian porcelain was developed in Staffordshire during the1840s, and was initially used for making copies of marble sculpture. These were sold in some numbers for relatively modest prices, enabling a wider range of buyers to own small-scale sculptures, and display them in a domestic setting. Parian porcelain is usually white and was often left unglazed, particularly when used for sculptural works. This bust was described as Minton’s ‘first specimen of Parian tinted in the mass, combining the colours of terracotta with the advantages of a vitrified porcelain.’ Messrs Minton exhibited a white Parian porcelain version of this model at the London International Exhibition of 1862.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Parian, tinted
Brief Description
Bust of the 'Clodion Venus' of parian, tinted, Minton & Co., Stoke-on-Trent, 1873.
Physical Description
Bust, after ‘La Frileuse’ (or ‘Winter’), by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828).
Dimensions
  • Height: 41.6cm
  • Depth: 22cm
  • Width: 25cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • No. 7 (Incised)
  • 1873 (Impressed cypher for)
Credit line
Given by Messrs Minton
Object history
This bust was described as 'The Clodion Venus' when it was acquired from the manufacturers, Messrs Minton, in 1873. Mintons evidently thought the sculpture it was based on was by the French artist Claude Michel, known as Clodion (1738-1814). In fact the bust is a variant of a well-known sculpture of a shivering girl, ‘La Frileuse’ (or ‘Winter’), by the French artist, Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828). In Mintons' version the girl’s cloak has been removed, and she has been re-defined as Venus.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This bust was described as 'The Clodion Venus' when it was acquired from the manufacturers, Messrs Minton, in 1873. Mintons evidently thought the sculpture it was based on was by the French artist Claude Michel, known as Clodion (1738-1814). In fact the bust is a variant of a well-known sculpture of a shivering girl, ‘La Frileuse’ (or ‘Winter’), by the French artist, Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828). In Mintons' version the girl’s cloak has been removed, and she has been re-defined as Venus.



Parian porcelain was developed in Staffordshire during the1840s, and was initially used for making copies of marble sculpture. These were sold in some numbers for relatively modest prices, enabling a wider range of buyers to own small-scale sculptures, and display them in a domestic setting. Parian porcelain is usually white and was often left unglazed, particularly when used for sculptural works. This bust was described as Minton’s ‘first specimen of Parian tinted in the mass, combining the colours of terracotta with the advantages of a vitrified porcelain.’ Messrs Minton exhibited a white Parian porcelain version of this model at the London International Exhibition of 1862.
Collection
Accession Number
831-1873

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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