French Sculpture Census

crédits photo : Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
© artiste : public domain

LEMOYNE, Jean-Louis
Paris 1665 - Paris 1755

Fénelon (François de Salignac de La Motte Fénélon) (1651-1755)
Portrait bust of Fénelon (François de Salignac de La Motte Fénélon) (1651-1755)

deuxième moitié du XVIIIe siècle d'après un modèle de 1724
exemplaire en terre cuite et réparations en plâtre teinté

27,5 x 24 x 14,5 ; sur base, H. 36
à l'arrière de la troncature : françois de Salignac / de la motte fenellon / archeveque de cambray

N° d'inv. : 65.2213
Credit Line : Bequest of Forsyth Wickes - The Forsyth Wickes Collection

Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts


  • avant 1948, New York, Wildenstein and Co.
  • 1948, 24 novembre, vendu par Wildenstein and Co. à Forsyth Wickes (1876-1964), New York et Newport, RI
  • 1948-1965, Forsyth Wickes
  • 1965, 24 décembre, legs de Wickes au MFA


  • Museum's website, 28 February 2012 and 20 March 2012
  • 1968 Rathbone
    Perry T. Rathbone, The Forsyth Wickes Collection, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 1968, p. 39, repr.
  • 1981 Souchal
    François Souchal, French Sculptors of the 17th and 18th centuries: The reign of Louis XIV, vol 2, Paris, Cassirer, 1981, no. 37 p. 371, repr.
  • 1992 MFA
    The Forsyth Wickes Collection in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MFA, 1992, p. 155-156, repr.

Oeuvres en rapport

Marbre, 1724, Musée de Cambrai.


The Forsyth Wickes Collection in the Museum of Fine Arts, 1992, p. 155-156:
In 1723, Jean-Louis Lemoyne, a distinguished Parisian sculptor, was commissioned by the Marquis de Fénélon, the great-nephew of the famous Archbishop of Cambrai, François de Salignac de Lamotte Fénélon, to execute a posthumous funerary monument for his great-uncle to be erected in the Cathedral de Cambrai. The monument was completed in 1724 but subsequently destroyed during the Revolution. Only the marble bust (now in the Musée de Cambrai) has survived. The Wickes bust is a reduction of the marble bust and is identical with it except for its smaller size and the replacement of a cross on the marble with the medal of the order of the Saint-Esprit on the terracotta. [...]
The order of the Saint-Esprit was a royal order conferred by the king on outstanding men who were in his favor. Fénélon was never a favorite of the king and never received this order, making its presence on the Wickes bust puzzling. Furthermore the portrait bust by Lemoyne, which was posthumous by eight years, was based on a portrait painted by Joseph Vivien in about 1713 which exists in several versions, all of which show Fénélon in ecclesiastical robes with a simple cross hanging on a ribbon around his neck. Since the cross of the order of the Saint-Esprit on the Wickes bust is plaster, it seems that it is a very late restoration, perhaps made by a dealer in the twentieth century who did not know who the sitter was. The Wickes bust probably dates from the second half of the eighteenth century when there was a growing interest in the great men of France, and a number of small busts and statues were produced of Fénélon. It is significant that the inscription on the Wickes bust is of the sitter's name with no date and no mention of Lemoyne.