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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the manufacturer

  • Exhibited

    ‘Les Visiteurs d'Été (Summer Visitors)’ Moss, New York, July 8-August 21, 2005

  • Literature

    ‘Arlene Hirst, ‘Murray Moss’, Elle Décor Italia, May 2012, illustrated p. 149

  • Catalogue Essay

    Since antiquity, the human face in effigy has dominated sculpture and painting. Originally reserved primarily for sovereigns and gods, since the middle of the eighteenth century this art form came slowly to represent other famous characters, depending less on a diminishing royal patronage, and appealing more to the emerging middle class. Signifiers of a contemporary political affiliation, an artistic patronage, a personal loyalty, or a philosophical allegiance, these portraits give idealized human form to exceptional human endeavor.

    Souvenirs of great thought or great deed, busts can embody a legacy of human accomplishment. These porcelain busts of Molière and Marie- Antoinette were shown in the 2005 Moss Gallery exhibition: ‘Les Visiteurs d’Été’ (Summer Visitors), culled directly from the archives of France’s ancient royal porcelain manufactory, the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, a rare privilege.

    The historic sculptures shown in that exhibition were conceived by various artists between 1768 and 1936, and produced by Sèvres between 1897 and 2005.

    The Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres was founded by Jeanne- Antoinette Poisson (better known as the Madame Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV of France) in 1740 in Vincennes, moving to the town of Sèvres in 1756. Widely known as a patron of the arts and literature, this unusually powerful, practical, and accomplished eighteenth century woman also planned the building of the Petit Trianon at Versailles, as well as the nation’s respected Ecole Militaire. Early on, the manufactory began to produce work primarily in biscuit, or white unglazed porcelain, both to distinguish itself from the emerging German manufactories producing glazed polychromatic pieces, as well as to more closely imitate the austere white coldness of the popular carved marbles from which many of the works derived.

91

‘Marie-Antoinette'

designed 1789, produced 2006
Bisque porcelain.
12 in (30.5 cm) high
Manufactured by Sèvres, France. Base impressed with manufacturer’s marks and ‘2006’.

Estimate
$6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for $7,500

Moss

16 October 2012
New York