Lot 272
  • 272

FRANÇOIS NICOLAS DELAISTRE (PARIS 1746-1832 PARIS )FRENCH, DATED 1800 | Bust of a young woman

10,000 - 15,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Bust of a young woman
  • inscribed beneath her proper right shoulder: fructidor an 8 (19 August - 23 September 1800)
  • terracotta
  • height 17  3/8  in.; 44 cm.


Collection of J. Seguin;
Drouot Richelieu, Paris, room no. 7, 8 April 2005, no. 192 (there attributed to Houdon);
Galerie Eugène Becker (there attributed to Delaistre)


Séverine Darroussat, 'François Nicolas Delestre (1746-1832): sculptures retrouvées ou inédites, portraits de famille' in Bulletin de la Société de l' Histoire de l"Art français, Paris, 2006, pp. 128-130 and p. 142, no. 6,  figs. 9a and 9b

Catalogue Note

This charming portrait by Delaistre is both sensitively and elegantly rendered. The sculptor easily combined realistic details, such as a mole on the side of her nose, with the stylized treatment of her spirited eyes and the fashionable hair style, both common to this artist's portrait work. Her skin is supple and her parted lips reveal some of her teeth; she appears to be in mid-sentence as she demurely turns her head to the left.  A terracotta bust of  a child signed and dated 1798, with similar proportions and the same wasted socle as the present terracotta, is in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Angers (MBA J 759 (J1881)S). Delaistre's exquisite 1813 terracotta portrait of Empress Marie-Louise in Fontainebleau can also be compared to this bust in the treatment of the mouth, eyes and hair.

Delaistre joined the studio of Louis-Claude Vassé at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, and won the first prize for sculpture in 1772 for the bas-relief The Meal of King Balthazar for which he received a stipend to study in Rome. He was a friend of Augustin Pajou who influenced Delaistre's early works. From 1799 to 1814, Delaistre exhibited approximately 25 works at the Salon, 18 of which were portraits or busts. His talent in this field was recognized when he was chosen to portray the imperial couple (Napoleon and Marie-Louise).