French Sculpture Census

photo credit : ph. courtesy Minneapolis Institute of Art
artist © : public domain

HOUDON, Jean-Antoine
Versailles, Yvelines 1741 - Paris 1828

Madame de Sérilly
Madame de Sérilly

1780
marble

bust
34 1/2 x 24 x 13 1/4
signed and dated, bottom of base: HOUDON F. 1780

Acc. No. : 75.30
Credit Line : Gift of Mrs. John Barry Ryan

Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Minneapolis Institute of Art

www.artsmia.org

Provenance

  • New York, Thomas Fortune Ryan (1851-1928)
  • 1975, Gift of Mrs. John Barry Ryan (wife of a Thomas Fortune Ryan's descendant)

Bibliography

  • Museum's website, 29 November 2011
  • 1956 Hill
    Ann Hill, "The Boudoir of Madame de Sérilly," Apollo 64, 377, 1956, pp. 8–11
  • 1964 Réau
    Louis Réau, Houdon: sa vie et son oeuvre 2, Paris, 1964, no. 174

Related Works

Other marble copy, signed and dated 1780, at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1996.79.
Other marble copy, signed and dated 1782, at the Wallace Collection of London, S26.

Comment



Museum's website, 29 November 2011:
Madame de Sérilly served as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Marie-Antoinette, a prestigious position in the court of Louis XVI. This portrait bust, dated 1780, was probably commissioned from Houdon to celebrate the occasion of the marriage of Anne-Marie-Louise de Pange de Domangeville to Antoine-Jean-François de Sérilly in 1779. Madame de Sérilly was about seventeen when the bust was made. Her husband was executed in 1794 during the French Revolution due to his support of the royal family. She remained imprisoned throughout the Revolution.
Houdon was the foremost French sculptor of portrait busts during the second half of the eighteenth century, depicting both royal subjects as well as artists, musicians and writers. In 1785 he traveled to the United States, where he sculpted busts of George Washington and other American political dignitaries.