HEAD OF A BEARDED MALE head in limestone carved in high relief. Turned three-quarters to the right, the face has a rounded forehead, frowning eyebrows, prominent globe-shaped eyes, delicately hemmed eyelids with expression lines, protruding cheekbones, a loose mouth with a sharp lower lip; hair in disorderly strands leaving the skull uncovered, beard with wavy strands and thick moustache.
Lorraine, attributed to Ligier Richier (Saint-Mihiel, circa 1500-1567), mid-16th century
Height: 21.2 cm - Depth: 6.3 cm
On a wooden base covered with brown velvet with inscription on the back "Ligier Richier XVIth Century".
(fragment, eroded nose)
The attribution of this beautiful head to the Lorraine sculptor Ligier Richier is very likely. The artist has often interpreted these faces as bearded men with an internalized expression, as shown in the famous Sepulchre of Saint-Mihiel made shortly before 1564. Joseph of Arimathea and Christ thus have a full beard and thick moustaches hiding the upper lip as on this head (fig.). We also note an equal talent for translating the deep feelings of the characters with the chisel, thanks to the very sensitive rendering of the morphologies. Whether on this Entombment, with also Nicodemus and Saint Longin, on the marble bas-relief "Let the little children come to me" from the Cabinet des Médailles (inv.57.247), on René de Beauveau's bedding now in the Lorraine Museum of Nancy, or even on his early work, the Hattonchâtel altarpiece dated 1523, one finds everywhere these heads of mature men with long and often moving beards.
Works consulted: C. Bourdieu, Ligier Richier - Sculptor of Lorraine, Paris, 1998; B. Noël and P. Choné, Ligier
Richier, Editions Meuse, 2000.
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Location of the item France - 75116 Paris