Bust of Madame Juliette Récamier (1777-1849)
Paris, early 19th century
67.3 x 31.5 x 19 cm
Mme Récamier, celebrated for her beauty, was the wife – and possibly the illegitimate daughter – of a wealthy older banker. She became a prominent figure in Parisian political and literary circles. The prime version of this sculpture is in Lyon. This later copy, one of several, lacks the crisp detailing of the original, though it does retain some of its sensual allure. Chinard was a fine exponent of the graceful Empire style and one of the leading portraitists of his day, both aspects brilliantly realised in this composition.
Purchased 1950 (No. 50.15)