29 October 1992,
Price realised GBP 8,250
GBP 4,000 - GBP 6,000
A FRENCH TERRACOTTA BUST OF DIANA, modelled and cast by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, her head crowned by a crescent moon and star, drapery about her shoulders and held over her right breast by a strap decorated with stars, signed A. CARRIER (on marblised wood socle), second half 19th Century
24¾in. (63cm.) high without socle
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Carrier-Belleuse was one of the most sought after portraitists in France of his day. The present Diana recalls Houdon's celebrated 18th century terracotta figure of the same goddess, now in the Frick Collection, New York. The haughty angle of the head and gaze, the elegant coiffure are similar, though the bust's ruched drapery and decorated strap stressing her partial nudity are entirely of Carrier's invention.
Like Lot 36, this bust reveals Marguerite Bellanger's physiognomy, here however, more idealised and transformed by a corporeal sensuality avoided in the more modestly draped portrait. Though her head is withdrawn with slight disdain, the emphasis on her voluptuousness is clear. The folds in her cloak stand as a virtuoso exercise in the chromatic possiblities of drapery, and are equalled by the skilled contrast of detailing on the head with the smooth beauty of her face. Hargrove mentions that the present bust may be the model of Diane sold in 1868 (op. cit., p. 130, f. 210).
Martin du Nord Collection, Paris
J. Hargrove, The Life and Work of Albert Carrier-Belleuse, London, 1977, pl. 81, p. 130
Somerset, Bruton Gallery, French Sculpture 1780-1940, November 1981-January 1982
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