This wax statue is a miniature copy of the sculpture of Voltaire by Jean Houdon executed in 1781.
He is one of the greatest statuaries of the 18th century, renowned for his most realistic works.
François Arouet, known as Voltaire, was a philosopher and a writer. He marked the age of Enlightenment by his political commitments. Anti-clerical, against religious fanaticism, he is in favor of a liberal monarchy.
Voltaire is treated here in a very disturbing and uncommon realistic way. Geniuses like Voltaire, are magnified by sculptors, like gods...
On the contrary, he is an old man, sitting, almost crumbling, clinging to his chair... But the artist knew how to give life and strength in his face.
Wax has been used since ancient times to model figurines. The material is also used to make preparatory models.
Wax allows an extreme fineness of details. Its use developed in the 17th century and extended to bust portraits or medallions.
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