Augustin Pajou (1730-1809) Bust portrait...

Lot 107
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10000 - 15000 EUR
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Result : 108 800EUR

Augustin Pajou (1730-1809) Bust portrait...

Augustin Pajou (1730-1809)
Bust portrait of the Marquis Antoine-Louis-Francois Viel de Lunas d'Espeuilles (1761-1836),1794
Terracotta, marble pedestal,
Total height : 33 cm.
The bust : height : 26 cm, width : 22,5 cm,
The pedestal : height : 7 cm, diameter : 13 cm.

Titled, signed, located and dated, by incision in the ground, on the back:

A.L.F Viel de Lunas marquis d'Espeuilles / By the citizen / Pajou de Paris / the year III of the / Republic / in Montpellier/ the 3 Vendémiaire / 1794 (24 September 1794)

We thank Mrs Josine de Fraipont,
Curator of the collections of the Friends of the Hôtel de Groesbeeck-de Croix: Museum of Decorative Arts in Namur. Graduate in Art History and Archaeology, who established the following condition report:

Condition report
The work is in an excellent state of conservation.
Two original cracks can be seen under the bust. The same must be true for the small flake in the hairline. Four small indefinable whitish spots on the top of the head. Traces of dust in some hollows.
On the upper edge of the pedestal, insignificant gap.

- Bibliography:
-J. D. Draper and G. Scherf, Pajou. Sculpteur du Roi 1730-1809, cat. exp. Paris-New York, 1997, p. 349.

- Provenance:
- Belgian private collection since at least 1933.

- Related works:

Augustin Pajou (1730-1809)
Portrait, in bust, of the Marquis Antoine-Louis-Francois Viel de Lunas d'Espeuilles
(1761-1836),1794
Plaster, 33 x 22.5 x 14 cm.

One copy in Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, inv. NGA 86.1705,
One copy in Chapell Hill (North Carolina), Ackland Museum of Art, The

William A. Whitaker Foundation Art Fund, inv. 81.26.1

Augustin Pajou (1730-1809)

Bust portrait of Count Antoine-Pierre Viel de Lunas (1761-1836) 1794
Terracotta,
Height : 76 cm, width : 51 cm, depth : 30 cm.

Signed on the back : By the citizen Pajou of Paris in the year III of the Republic, on the cut of the right shoulder : in Montpellier on 12 Vendemiaire 1794 (3 October 1794)
Private collection, Brissonneau sale (Hôtel Drouot, Paris) 25 November 2004, lot 206.
***
Known only by a photograph sent to the Louvre Museum's sculpture documentation in 1933, our terracotta sketch appears for the first time on the market.
first time on the market. This rediscovery allows us to complete our knowledge of Pajou's production in Montpellier. The sculptor's business was compromised in Paris by his association with the Ancien Régime, and he sought a haven to wait out the Revolution. Montpellier, a welcoming city for the Arts, also had a famous medical school and a favourable climate, favourable elements in the mind of the sculptor, whose wife's health was sadly declining. He stayed there from October 1792 and did not return to Paris until October 1794, a few weeks after his wife's death on 7 September 1794. Because the Revolution had caused little unrest there, Pajou felt free to portray the local bourgeoisie and petty nobility. Among his encounters were two aristocratic brothers: Antoine-Pierre Viel de Lunas (1760-1837), and his younger brother Antoine-Louis Viel de Lunas (1761-1836). They came from a family of Protestant bankers from Montpellier who were ennobled in 1702.
They both served in the King's Military House, in the Gardes du Corps, then in the cavalry: the Queen's Regiment for the elder, the Chartres Dragoons for the younger. During the Revolution, their property in Languedoc being threatened with seizure, the two brothers made frequent visits to Montpellier. Our model even married there, on January 10, 1794, a young lady of the good society of Montpellier, Marie de Roquefeuil.
While his elder brother had himself portrayed on October 3, 1794, in large size (fig.1.), it seems that our model, Antoine-Louis, had preferred, a few days earlier, to have himself portrayed in half-size, of which we know two plaster editions (fig.2. and 3.).
Both wear a civil costume characteristic of the revolutionary period: very high collar, bare throat, medium-length hair tied back with a ribbon at neck level. Both have a calm physiognomy and a kind smile, if any were needed, that Montpellier seemed, in those troubled times, a city where a certain gentleness of life reigned. Five children were born from the marriage of Marie de Roquefeuil and Antoine-Louis. His blood runs through more than three hundred families, a complete list of which can be found in the online catalogue.

A] d'Aboville, Alvar de Biaudos de Castéja, d'Amphernet de
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