A frileuse is a woman subject to cold. A marble version (Musée Fabre, Montpellier), dated 1783, was originally intended as an allegory of Winter. For the Museum's bronze, cast by Houdon himself and coming from the collection of the duc d'Orléans, Houdon stripped the spiraling columnar composition to its bare essentials. The girl's tremulous flesh is offset by her tightly drawn shawl, elegant but hardly adequate.
Signature: At top of base: HOUDON. F. 1787
Jean Antoine Houdon (until 1791; sold to Orléans) ; Louis Philippe Joseph, duc d'Orléans (1791–d. 1793; confiscated during the Revolution and kept in a depot in Paris); depot in Paris ; [ perhaps the Forbin-Janson Collection sale, Paris, May 2, 1842, no. 82; purchased for 1,300 F. ] ; [ Collot, Paris , January 16, 1844, no. 52; purchased for 650 F. ] ; Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford , Château de Bagatelle, Paris (d. 1870) ; Sir Richard Wallace , Château de Bagatelle, Paris (d. 1890) ; Lady Wallace (d. 1897) ; Sir John Edward Murray Scott, Bt. , Bagatelle, Paris (d. 1912) ; Lady Victoria Sackville , Paris (by bequest, 1912–14) ; [ Jacques Seligmann and Co., New York , Paris, 1914–17; sold to Davison ] ; Henry Pomeroy Davison , New York (1917–d. 1922) ; his wife, Kate Trubee Davison (1922–62; bequeathed to MMA)