Louise and Alexandre were the children of Alexandre Théodore Brongniart, the famous architect of the Bourse (old Stock Exchange) in Paris. These busts demonstrate Houdon's marvelous ability to express the freshness of childhood without sentimentality. Busts of children were very rare in the 17th century and first half of the 18th century, but from 1750-60 onward they became increasingly common.
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|Height||14.96 in||38 cm|
|Width||9.45 in||24 cm|
|Length||8.66 in||22 cm|
|Weight||13.23 lbs||6 Kg|
|Round base diameter Ø||7.87 in||20 cm|
|Manufacturing||Made in Italy|
The original sculpture: Jean-Antoine HOUDON (Versailles, 1741 - Paris, 1828).
Loisue Brongniart (1772-1845) and Alexandre Brongniart (1770 – 1847).
Dimensions of the original: H. 0.34 m; W. 0.24 m; D. 0.18 m
Purchased by the Louvre Museum in 1898, 1898
Louvre Inventory number: R.F. 1197
The busts of the Brongniart children established the sculptor's marvelous ability to depict the freshness and innocence of childhood without sentimentalism, expressing the personality of his subjects. The two busts were designed to contrast with each other. They turn their heads in opposite directions. Alexandre is dressed; Louise is nude. The liveliness of the boy is reflected in his unkempt hair, open jacket, mischievous look, and in the more vigorous modeling of the face. Louise seems more poised: she still has the round cheeks of a very young child, and her hair is carefully swept up in a bun secured by a band with a bow on the top. The color of the eyes is conveyed by differing treatments: Alexandre's irises, rendered by two concentric rows of radiating incisions, give the impression of light-colored eyes, whereas Louise's irises are deeply hollowed out, the resulting shadow imparting a darker, more serious look.
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