This important exhibition of terracotta sculptures by the French master Claude Michel (1738–1814), called Clodion, included eleven works from North American museums and private collections, and two signed and dated works in The Frick Collection: the Satyr with Two Bacchantes (1766) and the Zephyrus and Flora (1799). Executed from 1765 to 1802, the terracottas in the exhibition span nearly all of Clodion's long career, from the early productions of his Roman years to work executed during the reign of Napoleon.
Claude Michel, called Clodion
Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741–1828) and Claude Michel, called Clodion (1738–1814), were two of the foremost sculptors in France during the late eighteenth century, and the Frick housed an important group of their works. In 1915 founder Henry Clay Frick acquired Clodion’s terracotta Zephyrus and Flora and, the following year, Houdon’s marble bust of the Comtesse du Cayla. Other works that were subsequently added to the collection were shown together for the first time, highlighting the artists’ expressive ranges, as well as their defining contributions to the sculpture of Enlightenment-era France. MORE »
Houdon and Clodion are among the greatest French sculptors of the late eighteenth century, as well as the creators of works featured in the Frick's special exhibition Enlightenment and Beauty. As students in Rome in the 1760s, both were schooled in Greek and Roman culture and studied vast collections of antiquities. Yet what they absorbed from their training and the paths they chose to follow were quite different. This lecture explores the sculptors' respective sources of inspiration and patronage. This lecture is made possible by the Robert H.
Anne L. Poulet, Director Emerita of The Frick Collection, introduces the current exhibition Enlightenment and Beauty: Sculptures by Houdon and Clodion, on view at the Frick until April 5, 2015. This video will be on view in the Music Room at the Frick during the run of the exhibition.