Pair of Children, France, 1820

France c.1820


Pair of bronze sculptures depicting the busts of two children, their shoulders draped in cassocks. They are supported by cylindrical plinth bases in green marble, with base and bust support in gilded bronze and worked with thick frames; they rest on a quadrangular base in black Belgian marble.

Dimensions: 90 x 53 x 48 cm


Historical-critical analysis:

Our couple belongs to the production that established itself between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century which recalls the sculpture of antiquity, sometimes reproducing it faithfully, while others using it as a reference to draw inspiration from. Certainly, in this field, we must remember the work of Francesco Righetti (1749-1819), a pupil of Luigi Valadier, who specialized in the execution from antiquity of famous sculptural groups not only drawn from Roman prototypes but also Baroque, influencing the neoclassical production of the end of the century.

Studies to date have attributed similar busts on the market to Parisian production. Having no references, we seem to be able to hypothesize that it is a sculptor trained in Rome. In fact, the two bronzes in question derive from the Baroque plastic production. They refer to two busts attributed to François Duquesnoy (1597-1643); French sculptor active in Bernini’s Baroque Rome, whose production is mainly Italian. In fact, a clear point of reference can also be found in the sculptural corpus of the artist, in particular in the putti and cherub heads made for the altar of the Cappella della Misericordia, in Santa Maria Argentea, Norcia.


– Christie’s South Kensington, European Works of Art, Decorative Objects, Carpets and Furniture Including Chess, Wednesday, 25 June 1997, p. 130, lot. 299.

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