Description Lemoyne sculpted several busts of the celebrated French writer, Bernard Le Bouvier Fontenelle (1657-1757): the earliest, a terracotta, was shown at the Paris Salon of 1748; another was made for the Academy of Sciences in Paris; and a third was offered in 1759 to the town of Rouen, the writer's birthplace. It has been suggested that even though this marble bears Lemoyne's signature, it was actually sculpted after one of Lemoyne's originals by Louis Simon Boizot (1743-1809).
Provenance Dr. and Mrs. Henry Barton Jacobs, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Jacobs Sale, Baltimore, December 12, 1940, no. 1084; Walters Art Museum, 1940, by purchase.
Inscriptions [Signature] J. B. Lemoyne fc.; [Transcription] On front: Fontenelle né à rouen en 1657 mort à paris en 1757
Credit Museum purchase, 1940
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