A SEVRES (HARD PASTE) BISCUIT FIGURE OF ‘JEAN DE LA FONTAINE’ FROM THE SERIES OF ‘LES GRANDS HOMMES’ circa 1784, INCISED L R 7 TO BASE AT FRONT Modelled by Pierre Julien (1731-1804) and produced at Sevres in Biscuit Porcelain in 1784. Under the Chef de Sculpteurs Josse-Francois-Joseph Le Riche and bears his mark. De La Fontaine, the writer, is represented in an ample cloak, sitting in contemplation on a gnarled tree on which a vine with grapes is climbing. On his knee is the manuscript of the fable of the fox and the grapes, while at his feet a fox is seated on his hat with its paw on a leather-bound volume, looking up at him Reference: The ‘Grands Hommes de France’, considered one of the great artistic undertakings of Louis XVI’s reign, were first commissioned in 1776 as a series of monumental statues of the great warriors, writers, politicians, philosophers and ecclesiastics to be created by the most prominent sculptors of the Académie Royale. Following this achievement, the comte d’ Angiviller, director of the King’s buildings, proposed to Antoine Régnier, director of the Sèvres factory, that Sèvres execute in biscuit porcelain reductions of these same statues and arranged for the sculptors of the original statues to make the smaller terra cotta models from which the moulds for the biscuit figures would be made. The creation of ‘La Série des Grands Hommes’ at Sèvres extended from 1783 to 1787, during which time twenty-three models were produced. Example: Collection of Le Louvres, Jean de la Fontaine, After Pierre Julien, modeled by Manufacture de Sevres, 1784. (0A 11220, Salle 620, Aile Sully, Niveau 1).
Creator: Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres (Manufacturer)
Height: 13.19 in (33.5 cm)
Width: 8.27 in (21 cm)
Depth: 9.45 in (24 cm)
Style: Louis XVI (Of the Period)
Materials and Techniques: Porcelain
Place of Origin: France
Period: Late 18th Century
Date of Manufacture: 1784
Repaired: reattachment of hand. Wear consistent with age and use. Original kiln cracks in firing process. Typical of Sevres biscuit from this early period.