C1870 Impressive French Terracotta Bust of (I think) Madame du Barry


This large and impressive French 19th century bust is of a courtier of about 1770. It is an imposing  78 cm tall and 40 cm wide. I have seen a couple of the same image titled Marie Antoinette, which it very evidently is not! The most likely candidate, judging from other paintings and sculptures from the court of Louis XV is the King's last official mistress, the maîtresse-en-titre,  the Comtesse du Barry. My favourite description of du Barry is " As beautiful as an angel, and as stupid as a basket." However, I have a soft spot for the Comtesse, since while she was undeniably dim, she was also very kind, particularly to her slave Zamor. She doted on Zamor, and his room in the Chateau de Versailles had a marble fireplace and parquet flooring. He was later employed as a teacher, thanks to du Barry having taught him to read. This splendid and animated portrait sculpture is an evocation of Europe's most glittering age.

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