A Finely Modelled Terracotta Bust of Alexandre Brongniart (1770-1847)
A Finely Modelled Terracotta Bust of Alexandre Brongniart (1770-1847), after Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828)
Raised atop a mottled marble socle, signed in script on back of shoulder. Height - 14”
French, Circa 1900
Alexandre Brongniart was the son of famed architect Alexandre Théodore Brongniart (1739-1813), who designed the Paris Bourse (old Stock Exchange). His son, Alexandre became a specialist in firing techniques of porcelain and was made Director of the Sèvres Porcelain Factory in 1800.
He also became a noted naturalist and geologist, holding a professorship at the Sorbonne and the Museum of Natural History and it is while teaching there that he is noted for having created the term “Jurasic”.
Jean-Antoine Houdon, (1741-1828) studied sculpture in Paris under such illustrious names as Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne and Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. In 1771 Houdon became a member of the Académie Royale and was made a professor in 1778. Soon after he was commissioned to create terracotta busts of the Brongniart children, one of Alexandre and the other of his sister Louise, both of which were then presented at the 1777 Salon. The original busts then remained in the Brongniart family until they were purchased by the Louvre in the late 19th century. The busts were so admired that versions in terracotta, marble and bronze were skillfully reproduced, both prior-to and shortly after their acquisition by the Louvre.