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.
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Artist:Jean Antoine Houdon (French, Versailles 1741–1828 Paris)
Dimensions:Overall (confirmed): 56 1/2 x 15 3/8 x 19 7/8 in., Wt. 438 lb., 15 in. (143.5 x 39.1 x 50.5 cm, 198.6755kg, 38.1 cm); Pedestal: H. 34 in. (86.4 cm)
Credit Line:Bequest of Kate Trubee Davison, 1962
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)
Paris. "Salon of 1791," 1791.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition," May 8–August 1920.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "French Painting and Sculpture of the XVIII Century," November 6, 1935–January 5, 1936.
Worcester Art Museum. "Sculpture by Houdon," January 16, 1964–February 23, 1964.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 14, 1970–June 1, 1971.
Frankfurt. Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie. "Mehr Licht: Europa um 1770, die bildende Kunst der Aufklärung," August 22, 1999–January 9, 2000.
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828): Sculptor of the Enlightenment," May 4, 2003–September 7, 2003.
Los Angeles. J. Paul Getty Museum. "Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828): Sculptor of the Enlightenment," November 4, 2003–January 25, 2004.
Versailles. Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon. "Houdon, 1741–1828: Sculpteur des Lumières," March 1, 2004–May 31, 2004.
Paris. Musée du Louvre. "Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution," October 22, 2008–January 19, 2009.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution," February 23–May 24, 2009.
Los Angeles. J. Paul Getty Museum. "Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution," June 30–September 27, 2009.
Frankfurt. Liebieghaus Skulpturen Sammlung. "Jean-Antoine Houdon die sinnliche Skulpture," October 29, 2009–February 28, 2010.
Montpellier. Musée Fabre. "Jean-Antoine Houdon: La Sculpture sensible," March 16, 2010–September 12, 2010.
Vienna. Kunsthistorisches Museum. "Winter Tales: Depictions of Winter in European Art from Bruegel to Beuys," October 17, 2011 - January 08, 2012.
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