Bust of Antoine-Louis François Le Fèvre de Caumartin

Jean-Antoine Houdon
Paris, 1741 - Paris, 1828

1779, marble, 57 x 54 cm
Grand Salon

Houdon, a great neoclassical sculptor is the creator of the Three Graces and, in the portrait genre, the famous bust of Napoleon I. Here he is at the beginning of his career; as a young artist he was commissioned to create the effigy of Antoine Louis François Lefèvre de Caumartin, one of the most illustrious descendants of a great dynasty of Parisian parliamentarians.

Houdon uses all the resources of realism here. Admittedly the costume is of his period, with its decorations like the Croix de l’Ordre du Saint-Esprit [Cross of the order of the Holy Spirit], but the facial features are not idealised and, on the contrary, seek resemblance.

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