CIRCLE OF JOSEPH CHINARD (1756-1813)
FRENCH, CIRCA 1790-1800
MINERVA PROTECTING THE ARTS AND SCIENCES
bearing the signature: Chinard
Overall the condition of the terracotta is very good, with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There are a few small chips, notably along the bottom edge. There are a few minor stable hairline firing cracks, including across the torso at the back. There are also a few small lacunae, consistent with the material. There are a few well-concealed areas of reattachment, notably to the wreath, and probably also to the proper right arm and the branch in the proper left hand. There is some very minor glue(?) residue at the back of the helmet.
"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."
This exceptionally fine terracotta statuette represents Minerva protecting the Arts and Sciences. Dressed in beautifully modelled classical drapery and wearing a decorated helmet, the goddess rests her proper left hand in protection on the symbols of the arts and science: a geometry drawing, a sheet of music, a palette with brushes, the Belvedere torso, a chisel and hammer, and a globe behind her right foot.
Stylistically the figure bears a striking affinity to works executed by Joseph Chinard in Lyon around 1790, including the seated terracotta figure of La République in the Musée du Louvre (inv. no. R.F. 1883), whose classically idealised facial features resemble those of the Minerva. Another comparison is found in the figure of Minerva in Chinard's marble Allegorical Portrait of the van Risamburgh Family (1790), now in the Getty Museum (inv. no. 94.SA.2). Note the overall pose and hairstyle, as well as the densely arranged, meticulously delineated folds of drapery.