Augustin Pajou | 7th Tiberius Auction
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Augustin Pajou

7th Tiberius Auction

Augustin Pajou

After Sale Price:  4.424

  • BTC: 0,27995072 ฿
  • USD: 4.601 $
  • GBP: 3.801 £
  • CNY: 34.618 ¥

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Augustin Pajou
Paris 1730 – 1809 Paris
Succession
French
Portrait bust of Madame du Barry (1743-1793)
Mistress of Louis XV
White marble
Height 58 cm, width 53 cm, depth 30 cm, height with base 70 cm

This bust is a high-quality replica of the portrait bust of Madame du Barry (1743-1793) by the classicist sculptor Augustin Pajou, from around 1773, now in the Louvre (MR 2651; N 15483), exhibited in Salle 220, Aile Richelieu. Pajou was a French artist and is considered one of the most important representatives of his time. As a sculptor of Louis XV (1710-1774), he produced this particular representation as the last of a series of busts of Madame du Barry. She is considered the last official mistress of the French king. The lady was particularly renowned for her legendary beauty and also acted as an important patron of the arts.

The bust of Madame du Barry rests on a stone plinth. She is dressed in an antique, tight-fitting robe under which her breast is clearly visible. Her tall hairstyle is in keeping with the fashion of the time, with tightly combed-back hair and voluminous curls falling in single strands over her shoulder, accentuating her slender, elegant neck. Her confidently raised head, lofty gaze with raised brows and resolutely pursed mouth are emphasised by her almost arrogant posture, as she was fully aware of her elevated status.

In 1773, the bust of the Louvre was exhibited at the Paris Salon and was very well received. Afterwards, numerous repetitions were made, for example also in bisque porcelain from Sèvres, whereby Pajou himself made a completely new model in terracotta or plaster for this purpose (cf. MET inv. no. 43.163.3a, b). Several other plaster casts also exist, such as in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (A.98-1921), which reveals the great importance of the artist as well as the reputation of the mistress for posterity.

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