JEAN-BAPTISTE, CALLED AUGUSTE CLÉSINGER
BUST OF ARIADNE
signed and dated: J. CLESINGER Paris 1867
Overall the condition of the bust is good, with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. The marble appears to have been extensively cleaned in the past. There are minor restorations to three of the finials of the diadem. There are a few small chips, including to one of the finials of the coronet, to the hair, and to the edge of the truncation at the bottom. There is some natural veining to the marble, consistent with the material, notably at the proper right side of the bust and at the back. There are several small naturally occurring inclusions, notably in the hair at the back (partially filled) and to the bridge of the nose.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Clésinger sale, Hôtel Drouot Paris, 6 April 1870, lot 27;
Emile de Girardin (1808-1881);
with Heim Gallery, London, 1978 (Forgotten French Art catalogue, Nov-Dec 1978, no. 41);
Christie's London, 3 April 1985, lot 242
S. Lami, Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l’école française, vol. 1, Paris, 1916, p. 402
The present bust, conceived in 1869, is a sensuous rendering of Ariadne. Auguste Clésinger was famous for his mythological, historical, and allegorical busts of which numerous were exhibited at the Salon.
Clésinger’s erotic female busts were considered shocking by his contemporaries, demonstrating his ability to render beautiful and sensuous women in a realistic manner.
A. Estignard, Clésinger: sa vie et ses oeuvres, Paris, 1900