French Sculpture Census

photo credit : The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
artist © : public domain

after
BOIZOT, Louis-Simon
Paris 1743 - Paris 1809

L'Amour captif de la Jeunesse
Love, the Captive of Youth

c. 1850-1900, after a non identified model from the latter part of the 18th century
limestone on a limestone pedestal

group
66 x 31 x 38
carved into the front of the base: L'AMOUR CAPTIF DE LA JEUNESSE

Acc. No. : 27.2
Credit Line : The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

San Marino, California, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

www.huntington.org

Provenance

  • Paris, Duveen
  • 1925, New York, Duveen
  • 1927, acquired by Henry E. Huntington

Bibliography

  • 2008 Bennett and Sargentson
    French Art of the Eighteenth Century at The Huntington, Edited by Shelley M. Bennett and Carolyn Sargentson, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, in association with Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2008, p. 454-455, cat. 162, technical note by Jane Bassett, entry by Carolyn Miner

Comment



Museum's website, November 27, 2012:
The present outdoor sculpture is reminiscent of Louis-Simon Boizot’s small-scale designs for biscuit porcelain produced largely in the latter part of the eighteenth century at the Sèvres porcelain manufactory. Boizot became artistic director there in 1773. It is tempting to suggest that he intended this group to be paired with La Jeunesse tourmentée par l’amour (Youth tormented by love) (1802), as a garland of roses holds the captive figure in each work. During his twenty-seven years as director, Boizot created more than 160 models to be reproduced in biscuit porcelain, some of which relate closely to the present sculpture in composition and subject, if not in scale. Robert Wark, in his catalogue of the sculpture in the Huntington collection, mentions that a Sèvres biscuit reduction of the group was produced in 1802, although this cannot be verified. Additionally, there is no record of large-scale models in any medium for La Jeunesse, but Boizot did execute a life-sized marble of his Nymphe éprouvant avec surprise les traits de l’amour in 1802, exhibiting it first as a terracotta statuette at the Salon of 1773 and, also in 1773, in hard paste. Nymphe éprouvant was conceived as a pendant to Nymphe fuyant les traits de l’amour. Only the former, however, was executed in marble. It is unknown whether Boizot conceived L’Amour; however the playful subject and decorative composition are indeed indicative of Boizot’s oeuvre for Sèvres. According to Duveen, the sculpture and its setting, a monumental architectural canopy, were discovered in 1916 by a Mr. Gouvert on property that was ceded to him in 1916. This land was said to be formerly the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century domain of Porchefontaine, a dependence of Versailles. Gouvert’s son, Paul Gouvert, believed that Ange-Jacques Gabriel (1698–1782), a member of the Royal Academy of Architecture who worked at Versailles, designed the monument and sculpture. The present poor state of the limestone sculpture and architectural canopy, as well as the lack of documents to support this provenance, would leave an eighteenth-century attribution for both statue and architectural canopy to conjecture.