This is an extraordinary full-size terra cotta copy of “La Baignuese" (The Bathing Venus) after the original by Christophe-Gabriel Allegrain (French, 1710-1795). This copy is remarkable for its fidelity to the original but also for its richly weathered and gradually-acquired surface patina, which gives it a mysterious aspect that cannot be reproduced. There are no significant parts missing but there are losses to the face and repairs to the right arm and head. The pedestal base shares the same patina and coloration and appears to be original. "The Bather" has been popular subject for sculptors since antiquity, depicting a nude female figure of Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, toweling her legs as she rests one foot on a small rock. Christophe-Gabriel Allegrain was a sculptor famed and celebrated for his exceptional sensitivity in melding Rococo voluptuousness with the severe Neoclassical style. Working from the mid-18th century in France, he secured the important patronage of King Louis XV. The original sculpture, in marble, was commissioned by King Louis XV in 1755 and later exhibited at the Salon of 1767, where it was highly praised. Louis XV gave the sculpture to his mistress, Madame du Barry, in 1772, and it later became part of the collection at The Louvre Museum. After the death of the king in 1774, du Barry commissioned a similar sculpture of the goddess Dianna from the same artist. The two sculptures are often confused. Numerous smaller copies of both sculptures have been made over the past two centuries.
- Origin | France
- Dimensions | Base: 18"Dia x 36.5"H, Statue: 28"W x 58"H, Overall Height: 95"H
- Age | C.1800
- Material | Terra Cotta
- ID | 22E01096
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