As Larson discusses (see his essay in this catalogue), this bust of a child is a consummate illustration of Carrier-Belleuse's understanding of the technique and style of eighteenth-century sculptors. The comparision with Jean-Antoine Houdon's bust of Louis Brongniart is prescient as both busts capture the innocence and beauty of childhood. Carrier-Belleuse diverges from Houdon's composition in the addition of the garland of flowers in the young girl's hair. This touch infuses the bust with a sense of romance and otherwordliness.
Larson also highlights this particular bust for retaining an original paint surface, more specifically "a fine wash of terracotta coloured gouache (a watercolour reinforced with body colour and gum) to impart a soft pastel delicacy to the surface of the sculpture." On many of Carrier-Belleuse's terracotta this goache has been mistakenly stripped with the layers of dirt by restoration. Carrier-Belleuse sold a bust entitled Jeune Fille in his sale of 1883 and 1887, whether or not this reference refers to the present terracotta, however, cannot be confirmed.
Lami, vol. 1, p. 284
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