CLODION, Claude MICHEL, called

Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle 1738 - Paris 1814

Deux bacchantes dansant et un putto

Two Dancing Bacchantes and a Putto




Dimensions (HxWxD): overall, 17 1116 x 11 14 x 7 38; diam. of base, 6 1116 in.

under foot of bacchante, on edge of rockwork: CLODION. / 1800

Acc. No.: 65.2212

Credit Line: Bequest of Forsyth Wickes - The Forsyth Wickes Collection

Photo credit: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

© Artist:


  • Paris, Baron Gustave de Rothschild (1829-1911)
  • Brussels, by descent to his daughter, Baroness Lucie de Rothschild Lambert (1863-1916)
  • Brussels and New York, by descent to her son, Baron Henri de Lambert (1887-1933)
  • 1946, January 21, Rosenberg and Stiebel
  • 1946, sold by Rosenberg and Stiebel to Forsyth Wickes (1876-1964), New York and Newport
  • 1965, December 24, bequest of Forsyth Wickes to the MFA


  • Museum's website, 24 February 2012 and 20 March 2012
  • 1966 MFA
    1965-The Museum Year: The Ninetieth Annual Report of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 1966, p. 6, repr.
  • 1968 Rathbone
    Perry T. Rathbone, The Forsyth Wickes Collection, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 1968, p. 59, p. 87, repr.

Related works

  • La Surprise, terracotta, 1799, Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art.


  • Museum's website, July 21, 2011:
    Inspired by ancient works he would have seen in Rome, Clodion created a lively scene of a dance stimulated by wine. In classical mythology, Bacchus and his band of merry-makers inhabited the woods, and Clodion's sylvan figures hold grapes, wear garlands of grape leaves, and carry the thyrsus (the wine-god's magic staff). Their tambourine has fallen to the ground. The sculptor's mastery of the terracotta medium is evident in the contrasts between the smooth flesh of the women, the chubby rolls of fat of the infant, and the fresh, animated surfaces of drapery, hair, and leaves.