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C. Lacroix, Franco-Flemish (Franco–Flemish, born Burgundy, active Genoa)

ca. 1695–1700
probably French
Elephant ivory
H. 14.3 cm not including modern wood socle
Natural Substances-Ivory
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gifts, Edward J. Gallagher Jr. Bequest, in memory of his father, Edward Joseph Gallagher, his mother, Ann Hay Gallagher, and his son, Edward Gallagher III, and The Isak and Rose Weinman Foundation Inc. Gift, 2005
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Few ivory portraits show the extraordinary detail of this bravura carving, which displays qualities usually found in the much larger bronze or marble busts of the era. Echoing the drapery-swathed and bewigged grandiosity of those images, the little-known sculptor who signed this piece paid meticulous attention to rendering his sitter's costume. The luxuriant cascade of curls, modish lace jabot topped off with an elaborate two-ribbon tie, and brocade patterning of the parade armor contrast strikingly with the naturalistic delineation of the face. Someday, however, his pockmarked skin and the distinctively truculent set of his chin may provide clues to the gentleman's identity.

    Johanna Hecht, associate curator, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

    M. Fau, Paris, by 1865; Emma Budge, Hamburg; her sale, Paul Graupe, Berlin, October 4–6, 1937, lot 85 (bought by Budge heirs, Hamburg); on loan to Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, until 2005; [Boyke Dettmers, Bremen].

    Paul Mantz, "Union centrale des beaux-arts appliqués à l'industrie— Musée rétrospectif—La Renaissance et le temps modernes," Gazette des Beaux-Arts 19 (October 1865), p. 343; Eugen von Philippovich, Elfenbein: Ein Handbuch für Sammler und Liebhaber, 2d ed. (Munich: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1982), pp. 88–89, fig. 68; James D. Draper, "Bust of a Nobleman," Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2004–2005. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 63, no. 2 (Fall 2005), p. 20.

  • Provenance

    M. Fau , Paris, by 1865 ; Emma Budge ; [ her sale, Paul Graupe, Berlin October 4–6, 1937, lot 85 ] ; Heirs of Emma Budge ; [ Boyke Dettmers ]

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History