Admission is always free Directions

Open today: 10:00 to 5:00

Overview

Roland's study of his bride became the Gallery's first 18th-century portrait bust of a woman. The material, unpainted terracotta, rose in popularity for finished art works in this period. Its warm color and responsiveness to the sculptor's touch heighten the sensuous effect of such features as the ebullient hair and cupid's bow mouth. The ruffled neckline sliding down to the right balances the tilt of the model's head as she begins to smile, perhaps toward her new husband. This bust remained with the descendants of the sculptor and sitter into the 20th century.

Provenance

Family of the sculptor; Gabriel de Montigny, descendant of Roland's daughter, from at least 1901 to after 1908. M.L. Lévy, Paris; (his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 18-19 June 1917, 1st day, no. 99, as by Augustin Pajou). (sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 12 March 1948, no. 37, as by Augustin Pajou). Edmond Courty, at least in 1965. (sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 9 December 2002, no. 53); (Galerie Patrice Bellanger, Paris); purchased 13 March 2003 by NGA.

Exhibition History
1789
Possibly Salon, Paris, 1789, no. 263, as Mlle Potain.
Bibliography
1901
Marcel, Henry. "Quelques oeuvres inédites de Philippe Roland." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 25 (1901): 183, repro. 184.
1953
Catheu, Françoise de. “Deux bustes d’enfants de Ph. L. Roland.” Gazette des Beaux-Arts ser. 6 vol. 41 (March 1953): 203-206.
1965
Genoux, Denise. "Quelques bustes et médaillon retrouvés de Philippe-Laurent Roland." Bulletin de la société de l'histoire de l'art français (1965): 193-194.
1992
Musée du Louvre. Nouvelles acquisitions du département des Sculptures, 1988-1991. Paris, 1992: no. 27, 88-89, fig. 27a.
2003
Alison Luchs. “Philippe-Laurent Roland, Thérèse-Françoise Potain Roland, Wife of the Sculptor.” National Gallery of Art Bulletin no. 30 (Fall 2003): 15, repro.
2003
Scherf, Guilhem. "Un bust d’Augustin Pajou au Nationalmuseum" Art Bulletin of Nationalmuseum Stockholm 10 (2003): 67-70.
2005
Wildenstein, Guy, et. al. The arts of France from Francois Ier to Napoleon Ier : a centennial celebration of Wildenstein's presence in New York. Published in conjunction with an exhibition held at Wildenstein & Co., for the benefit of the American Friends of the Louvre, October 26, 2005-January 6, 2006. New York, 2005: no. 126.
2006
Blanc, Olivier. Portraits de femmes artistes et modèles à l’époque de Marie-Antoinette. Paris, 2006: 46, 48, 50, repro.
2015
Luchs, Alison. “The Sculptor’s Lady: A French Eighteenth-Century Response to Bernini’s Costanza?” In Carolyn H. Miner, ed. The Eternal Baroque. Studies in Honour of Jennifer Montagu. Milan, 2015: 445-452, repro.