Workshop of Gaetano Merchi

(Italian, 1747–1829)

Bust of Madame Marie Madelaine Guimard (1743-1816), unsigned, terracotta with marble socle, 28 x 19 x 11 in. 19th century; octagonal faux marble painted wood pedestal base by La Vitrine, Inc., New York, 46-1/4 x 13 x 13 in.

Note: "Marie-Madeleine Guimard (1743-1816) was the illegitimate daughter of an inspector in a Paris cloth factory. Having joined the Corps de Ballet at the Comédie-Française, Paris, at the age of 15, she was taken on as a dancer at the Paris Opéra where she made a very successful debut in 1762 as Terpsichore, the muse of dance. She became equally well-known for her amorous conquests which included Jean-Benjamin de la Borde, amateur musician and first valet to the king; Charles de Rohan, Prince de Soubise; and Mgr de Jarente, Bishop of Orléans. In 1789 she married the choreographer and poet Despreaux and retired to a house above Montmartre where she lived until her death in 1816. Edmond de Goncourt wrote a biography about her (1893).

The sculptor, Gaetano Merchi, is less well-known. Born in Brescia in Italy, he went to St Petersburg before working in Paris and then Madrid before returning to France. In Paris he carried out several portraits of actresses and dancers, including this bust which has been much reproduced."

-Victoria and Albert Museum

This lot is accompanied by a facsimile of the receipt for the pedestals by La Vitrine, Inc. dated 1968.

Provenance:The Estate of William N. Banks, Jr., Newnan, Georgia


wear and abrasion to surface, minimal small chips, small chip repairs to socle; pedestal base with surface dirt, abrasions, separations

Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

Internet Bidding

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