French Sculpture Census

crédits photo : The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore
© artiste : public domain

PRIEUR, Barthélémy
Berzieux, Marne 1536 - Paris 1611

Femme se coiffant
Woman Combing Her Hair

vers 1595-1610

H. 13,4

N° d'inv. : 54.505
Credit Line : Acquired by Henry Walters

Baltimore, Maryland, The Walters Art Museum


  • Baltimore, Henry Walters [date et mode d'acquisition inconnus]
  • 1931, Walters Art Museum, par legs


  • Museum's website (accessed May 18, 2017)


Museum's website (accessed May 18, 2017):
In antiquity, sculptors often depicted Venus bathing or doing her hair. During the Renaissance, a bathing woman (not always Venus) was again a popular subject for small bronzes. It offered the male collector the voyeuristic pleasure of gazing at an unclothed woman who is unaware of being observed. Giambologna created famous small bronzes of this type with gracefully elongated bodies. Barthelemy Prieur, the sophisticated "Sculptor to the King" to Henry IV of France, was influenced by them but created statuettes in a more intimate format, depicting different moments of a woman's personal toilette in naturalistic poses. Conceived for the private enjoyment of the collector, they invite one's touch with their smooth curving backs. Groupings of these figures in 17th-century inventories suggest they were collected in "sets." "Woman Combing Her Hair" is not as well finished as the other two and is not from the same set.