Beautiful pair of busts in finely chiseled bronze and gilded with mercury.
The bronze bases decorated with scrapers, friezes of pearls and guilloché are surmounted by columns in turquin blue marble which support the two busts.
They represent the two great writers and philosophers, Rousseau and Voltaire.
Votaire, whose real name is François Marie Arouet (1694-1778) is represented in antique style, according to the iconography of the bust made a few months before his death in 1788 by the sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828).
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) is dressed in a coat and a fur cap in the Armenian fashion, according to the iconography of a portrait made by the painter during his exile in London in 1766 Allan Ramsay (1713-1784)
Very good state of conservation, great qualities of carving and gilding.
Probably with small chains that hung on the columns originally.
French work from the Louis XVI period, Paris around 1788-1790.
Height: 20cm; Diameter of the bases: 7.5 cm
A pair of small busts, with a similar model for Jean Jacques Rousseau is kept at the Museum of Fine Arts in Reims; it comes from a revolutionary seizure at the Saint-Remi Abbey in 1795.
Our opinion :
Our two small busts were made just after the deaths of the two great philosophers, which occurred a few months apart, on May 30, 1778 for Voltaire and the following July 2 for Rousseau.
The death of these two great philosophers is a trauma and leaves a great void in the French artistic landscape.
Many tributes will be organized in the four corners of the kingdom.
Souvenirs such as our small busts will be marketed and will meet with great success with an intellectual clientele anxious to commemorate this philosophy of lights that has made France shine in the world.
Ironically, the two philosophers who hated each other will be united for eternity, and it will even be a double penalty for Rousseau who will be represented as a bourgeois, in a fur coat, according to the iconography of a painting he particularly hated.
The quality of the small busts varies considerably, with the use of more or less precious wood and patinas.
Our copy, which features expensive marble, high-quality carving and mercury gilding, is the luxury version of this moving tribute.
6 500 €
5 500 €
3 500 €