French Sculpture Census

photo credit : Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk
artist © : public domain

RAMEY, Claude
Dijon, Côte-d'Or 1754 - Paris 1838

Antoine-César de Choiseul-Praslin, duc de Praslin (1756-1808)
Antoine-César de Choiseul-Praslin, Duke of Praslin (1756-1808)


27 x 20 x 16
signed on back: Claude Ramey. De Dijon / fecit. L'an 1808

Acc. No. : 2010.7
Credit Line : Museum Purchase

Norfolk, Virginia, Chrysler Museum of Art


  • By descent via the younger grandson of the sitter, whose daughter, Alix-Eugénie, married Charles de Mercy-Argenteau
  • Thence by descent to their daughter, Georgina de Mercy-Argenteau, who married Claude, comte de Pimodan, great-grandfather of the present owner
  • Under consignment through W. M. Brady and Co., New York, NY
  • 2010, Museum purchase


  • Museum's website, 16 November 2017


Museum's website, Object Label, 16 November 2017:
Unlike many French aristocrats, the Duke of Praslin survived the Revolution to become a favorite of Napoleon. Claude Ramey’s bust records the aging duke’s complex allegiances in a world of rapid change. He proudly wears the uniform and medal of the revolutionary Legion of Honor, to which Napoleon had elected him, yet he still retains his wig, a pre-revolutionary aristocratic pretension that many noblemen had abandoned in favor of short, natural hairstyles. The bust’s stark realism dispenses with refined ideals as if to show the effects of the tumultuous Revolution. The duke’s weathered face seems to reflect its dire events.