Plaster bust representing a young boy in bust, with shoulder-length hair whose locks are beginning to cover the ears.
Very good condition, in its original old patina.
Workshop of Jean-Antoine Houdon around 1790.
Height: 39 cm; Width: 26 cm
Our opinion :
Under the old regime, few sculptors were interested in the representation of children.
But in the second part of the 18th century, under the leadership of the writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his treatise on education, the child will take an important place in society and in the arts.
First depicted by painters in intimate scenes, with emphasis on maternal tenderness, the child will be represented for himself, like an adult.
Jean Antoine Houdon, will be one of the first to devote great importance to these representations, with the famous busts of infants representing his daughters, Sabine, Anne-Ange and Claudine) or the children of the architect Brogniart.
This production will meet with such great success that the elite of the nobility will be eager to have their offspring represented.
The way of modeling the face and the eyes that we find on this bust of a young boy is typical of Jean Antoine Houdon.
The fact of removing a part of the pupil makes it possible to create a relief which makes the look alive and particularly catchy, just like the model of the cheeks or the half-open mouth; characteristic of young children.
The coiled wicks which fall on the ears are characteristic of the post-revolutionary period, have little to find them in particular on the representations of the small Dauphin Louis XVII which allows us to date our bust of the 1790s, that is to say the period where Jean Antoine Houdon comment to work on the busts of children.