Lot 227

Attributed to Clément JAYET
(Langres, 1731 - Lyon, 1804)
Presumed Portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Terracotta bust with half-body
Total height: 89 cm; width: 58 cm.
Quadrangular pedestal in red Levanto marble :
Height. height : 20 cm
(minor visible accidents and spalls)
Of all the French philosophers of the second half of the 18th century, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, - a French-speaking Genevan writer, philosopher and musician whose influence on the ideas that brought about the end of the Ancien Régime and the French Revolution was fundamental - is certainly the one whose image, whether painted, engraved or sculpted, was the most abundant and the source of the greatest emulation for the artists of that period, up until the beginning of the 19th century. If the most famous among them is undoubtedly the bust that Houdon exhibited at the 1779 Salon (n°220), one year after the philosopher's death before proposing different versions: French style, wearing wigs and costumes of the time, natural or Antique, this unpublished portrait most probably executed before Houdon's work is an exception. Although he lived in Lyon, not far from the Dauphiné, and although it is possible that Clément jayet - a member of the Académie de Saint-Luc since 1755 - may have met the philosopher, it is more likely that the sculptor relied on an engraved source to create the portrait of Rousseau. Although the work of Jayet, who specializes in portraits, remains little known, we find here his vigorous and sober style, which is readily expressive. Lot presented by Mr Philippe Commenges