Friday 20 November 2020

Bust of King Charles I by Roubiliac at the Courtauld

 The Terracotta Bust of Charles I (1600 - 1649).

Painted to simulate bronze.

Louis Francois Roubiliac,

at the Courtauld Institute.

These photographs below were recently added to the Art UK website.

This post under construction.

They say workshop of Roubiliac?

Given the evidence it is possibly one of the two bust from the Roubiliac posthumous sale by Langfords at the Roubiliac premises in St Martins Lane, either lot 79 on second day's sale, 13 May 1762, or lot 74 on third day's sale, 14 May 1762. 

The other is definitely that at the British Museum purchased at the sale by Dr Matthew Maty.

Typical Roubiliac technique of the hollow head to prevent cracking in drying and firing.

Rysbracks busts were usually solid and  fissures appeared after firing

Height 82.5 x Width 64 x Depth23.5 cms.

Bequeathed by Lord Lee of Fareham, Arthur Hamilton (1st Viscount), 1947.


Three images above from Flikr.


The British Museum Terracotta Bust of Charles I.

Presented by Dr Matthew Maty, 1762, who purchased it at Roubiliac's sale, either lot 79 on second day's sale, 13 May 1762, or lot 74 on third day's sale, 14 May 1762.

Height: Height: 70 centimetres.

Width: Width: 60 centimetres (max.).

Trustees' Report 13 July 1833, the Principal Librarian, Sir Henry Ellis, describes how the Attendant of the Print Room while endeavouring to open the Bulls Eye window in the Department, dislodged the Roubiliac bust of Charles I which broke into 'numberous pieces'. Ellis applied to Westmacott to repair it. (information from Hugo Chapman, April 2013).


Remains of surface coating; some areas of discoloration after cleaning (this terracotta was severely blackened by pollution from coal fires etc until conservation in anticipation of catalogue photography and display in gallery 46 in 1994.


A note (probably by Hugh Tait) records that the bust was cleaned in the V&A 6.9.49