Plaster

  • plaster sculpted bust of man, with brow furrowed and head turned (front view)

    La Douleur (Pain), 1811
    Plaster
    54 x 32 x 26 cm
    Dated front, lower right
    Collection Roberta J. M. Olson and Alexander B. V. Johnson

    Cat. 12

    This extraordinary bust won the 1811 tête d’expression (expressive head) competition at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Its originality lies in the artist’s conjunction of classical sculptural types with his close study of a posed, fashionably sidewhiskered model. La Douleur marks the beginning of David’s lifelong exploration of the relationship between ideal classical beauty and the fleshy reality of the living body. One of two casts made during his lifetime, the work retains the raised seams from its original molds. For modern viewers, these are a prized indicator of a plaster’s authenticity.

  • yellowish plaster cast of head of man in profile, atop circular plaster background

    Victor Schnetz, 1828
    Plaster cast
    12 cm diameter
    Collection Dr. Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher

    Cat. 14

    French painter (1787–1870)

  • plaster carving of young child sucking thumb, atop circular plaster background

    Robert David, 1834
    Patinated plaster
    23.5 cm diameter
    Collection Carol and Herbert Diamond

    Cat. 15

  • plaster cup with carved images of roses and a mother suckling a child

    Christening Cup (after an 1835 model)
    Patinated plaster
    18.9 cm high
    Signed and dated, 1854; inscribed, patria
    Collection Roberta J. M. Olson and Alexander B. V. Johnson

    Cat. 16

  • plaster carving of young girl smelling a flower, atop circular plaster background

    Hélène David, 1838
    Plaster Inscribed and dedicated in David’s hand in ink on reverse, à Victor Pavie
    26.7 cm diameter
    Collection Carol and Herbert Diamond

    Cat. 17

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