The Sèvres manufactory produced several porcelain models of Marie-Antoinette. The earliest bust, dated 1771, was crafted by the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne. Made from soft paste in two sizes, it was long attributed to Pajou.
During Louis-Simon Boizot's time as director of the sculpture workshops, other portraits of Marie-Antoinette were put on sale.
The Royal Altar, a group commemorating the coronation of Louis XVI and given to the young sovereigns in 1775, was the first and is still the most famous piece in homage to the queen produced by the manufactory under Boizot's direction. Marie-Antoinette was portrayed head and shoulders, full length, in medallions and allegories, with her husband or her children; her portraits are listed in the early registers but disappeared at the Revolution. Some are known from copies. This is the case for the model created by Boizot in the 1780s, the Draped Bust of Marie Antoinette, called the Wengmuller bust, now in Versailles.
This little-known model is attributed to Brachard, without specifying whether the sculptor was the elder, Jean-Charles-Nicolas or the younger, Jean-Nicolas-Alexandre Brachard, who both worked at the manufactory between 1782 and 1827.
This time it is an idealised portrait and not an evocation of a queen at the height of her power as in Boizot's model. Shown with her head turned slightly to the right, and a shawl tied naturally round her shoulders, she is wearing a diadem decorated with a fleur-de-lis and held in place by a string of pearls. These elements of royalist iconography suggest that this model probably dates from the Restoration, although the exact date of its creation is unknown.
Reproduction in hand patinated resin
- H. 22 cm; L. 13 cm; P. 10 cm - 1,250 kg
- Material of the original
- Biscuit of Sevres porcelain
- Sèvres - Cité de la céramique, Versailles - Musée des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon
- Queens and kings, Marie-Antoinette
- Art movement
- 19th century