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22 November 2018

Fine British and European Sculpture

Lot 19

Circle of Augustin Pajou

Estimate £1000 - £1500 + fees

French 18th Century School, possibly Circle of Augustin Pajou, (French 1730 ~ 1809), a sculpted terracotta bust of a maiden, portrayed with serene visage inclined a little downwards to sinister, her hair worn up, held by a band and with floral adornments, with curling tresses trailing down to the nape of her neck, the drapery loose at her décolleté and falling away to expose her breast, the drapery billowing behind the bust;

Atop a waisted circular section dove grey marble socle

53cm high overall, 33cm wide



A Parisian by birth Pajou was a precocious talent, winning the coveted Prix de Rome at the age of eighteen. He was soon receiving commissions for portraiture from celebrated and influential clients, and some of these works bear close comparison with the bust here

Close comparison can be drawn with Pajou's bust of Madame du Barry held at the Louvre in Paris, as well as with other portrait busts. Another terracotta bust of the same sitter, a maquette (the finished marble now lost) by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne is also highly analogous. But aside from these, the fashionably long neck and coy gaze are highly reminiscent of Houdon's work too. It is therefore perhaps difficult to ascribe a particular attribution to either sculptor or sitter, but the bust remains very much of the type that was fashionable in later 18th century France