Chinard, Joseph (1756 - 1813)

Portrait presumed to be of Juliette Récamier

Exposé en salle

Date : Entre 1800 et 1805
Support and technique : Terre cuite
Size : H. 62 x l. 39 x P. 24 cm
Inventory number : J 202
Signature : À l'avant du buste : "Chinard à Lyon"
Signature : À l'arrière, sur le piédouche : "Chinard de l’institut et de l’athénée de Lyon"

It is generally agreed that the face of this pensive young woman is that of Juliette Récamier (1777-1849), one of the most prominent social figures of Parisian cultural life around 1800. Her salon attracted many artists, such as the painters David and Gérard, who painted her portrait. On several occasions, Madame Récamier hosted the sculptor Chinard, who was also from Lyon. Today, Chinard's name is still linked to a series of exquisitely crafted busts, notably his effigies of Napoleon and the Bonaparte family. Chinard has also bequeathed us numerous images of Juliette Récamier, sometimes in the form of medallions but also, and especially so,  in the form of marble and terracotta busts. The bust we are observing here can be attached to the latter set, even if its identity remains to be confirmed. The hairstyle with its fine strands, the full sensual features, the serious but attentive gaze and the pleated dress emphasising the model’s generous forms: everything recalls the confirmed portraits of Mme Récamier by Chinard as vibrant tributes to the beauty and the spirit of his protector.

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