Carrier-Belleuse revived the spirit of Clodion in his terracotta and marble groups with Venus and Cupid and bacchantes, rekindling interest in the Rococo style in the third quarter of the 19th century. The present model is inspired by a composition by Louis-Simon Boizot (1743-1809) for Sèvres, known from a photograph of a biscuit version held in the archives of the Cité de la Céramique, Sèvres (Hargrove, op. cit.
, p. 126, fig. 43). A terracotta version of the present model was exhibited in the recent exhibition Carrier-Belleuse: Le maïtre de Rodin
., no. 86). Hargrove and Grandjean date the model to circa 1868 (op. cit.
Carrier-Belleuse imbues his interpretation of the subject with a playful eroticism that is characteristic of his Belle Epoque
sensitivity. Versions of the model in marble are significantly rarer than those in terracotta, and this is a finely executed example.
J. Hargrove and G. Grandjean, Carrier-Belleuse. Le maïtre de Rodin, exh. cat. Palais de Compiègne, Paris, 2014, pp. 124-126, no. 86, fig. 43