Sunday 13 December 2015

The Rysbrack Statuettes of Rubens, van Dyck and du Quesnoy, Part 21, A Terracotta Statuette of Francois du Quesnoy. Bristol

A Terracotta Statuette of Francois du Quesnoy.
by Michael Rysbrack.
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.
 A terracotta Statuette of Francois du Quesnoy (il Fiammingo).
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

He is shown holding his mallet and leaning against 'The Belvedere Torso'.

It is my feeling that like the Bristol terracotta of van Dyke, this is also a cast of a cast - the detailing particularly of the hair and face is rather coarse.
For a discussion (with a couple of factual inaccuracies which are corrected here) about the sculpture of du Quesnoy (il Fiammingo) by Rysbrack see - Burlington Magazine - 5 October 1963.

 Photograph of a statuette of du Quesnoy from the Burlington Magazine. Sold lot 99, Sotheby's 4th December 1956 paired with a statuette of van Dyck (subsequently shown that both were of plaster not terracotta). Height 21.5 inches, 55 cms approx.

Both statuettes still remain unaccounted for.

Photograph above lifted from the Burlington Magazine - 5 October 1963.


Scan of the Sotheby's Catalogue entry Lot 99 - 4th December, 1956.

For more on the plaster statuettes of Rubens, van Dyck and du Quesnoy see future posts.

I am very grateful for everyone in the Sculpture Department at Sotheby's for providing me with this image.


 The Belvedere Torso in Museo Pio Clementino in The Vatican Museums.

Engraving Jan de Bisschop
1672 - 89.
198 x 120 mm
British Museum

Jan de Bisschop
1682 - 89
135 x 224 m
British Museum

From Hogarth's Analysis of Beauty 1753
A yard at Hyde Park Corner - possibly of John Cheere
Showing the Belvedere Torso , the Farnese Hercules and the Laocoon
Excellent High res Scan from the Metropolitan Museum, New York.


All black and white photographs here were lifted from the article in the Burlington Magazine - 5 October 1963 written by FJB Watson in memory of Isabel Webb.

The bust acquired by the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto in 1954.
Sold lot 43 at the Rysbrack sale of 20th April 1765, the marble version (see below) was sold, lot 65 at the same sale. The unsigned marble is now in the de Ciccio Collection, in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples where it was put on display in 1959. The terracotta of Rubens was sold in the same sale lot 44 - it came to light at a sale at Christie's lot 17 29 June 1961.
George Vertue in his notebooks had noted three busts in marble - he had done.- of - Rubens - Quellin & Vandyke - are highly finish. and masterly done - are standing proof of his great skill. The reference to Quellin being a mistake for du Quesnoy.

The de Ciccio marble bust of du Quesnoy by Michael Rysbrack (unsigned), Museo di Capodimonte, Naples.


Francois Du Quesnoy.
Engraving by Claude Randon, 1660 - 80,
155mm x 116 mm,
A very interesting engraving in that it shows the tools of the trade of the sculptor - his drill, dividers, rasps, mallet and chisel. based on an anonymous oil on canvas portrait in the Accademia di San Luca, Rome.
British Museum.
Francois du Quesnoy
after Bellori (1630 - 96).
Engraved Benedetto Eredi,
pub. Hugford Florence,
1769 - 75.
176 mm x 129 mm.

A later Italian engraving of about 1770, using the engraving by Randon (above) as its source.

Another disputed image of du Quesnoy after an original by Chatrles le Brun.
Later prints lettered below the image 'Done from a Picture in the Collection of the Right Honble, the Earl of Besborough. / Le Brun Pinxt. / Robt. Sayer Excudit /
W Pether fecit / London Printed for Robt, Sayer,  Printseller, No. 53, Fleet Street.
The original is now in the Residenz Gallerie, Salzburg'. 503 x 354 mm.
British Museum.

 Francois du Quesnoy.
after the original by Anthony van Dyck
Pieter van Bleek (1700 - 64).
Worked in London from 1723 until his death.
 354 mm ×  245 mm.
Rysbrack appears to have drawn his inspiration for his sculptures of du Quesnoy from the engraving by Randon.


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