Description Pierre-Nicolas Beauvallet was a draftsman and printmaker, as well as a sculptor. After the French Revolution he restored Medieval and Renaissance sculptures for the Musée National des Monuments Français, including the famous Fontaine de Diane. This statuette is the exact contemporary of one of his most celebrated works, but the exact reason for the terrecotta statue is unknown. This piece is made of beige clay covered with a brown slip. It captures Sappho just as she has stopped playing the lyre that she is holding. Her expression and appearance illustrate her inner turmoil as she has lost her love Phaon. Her hair is crowned with laurels and her elegant robe cascades down in folds across her body. Her physique is shown off by the clinging drapery, small breasted and robust hips. The fall of the folds reflect the Farnese "Flora", and presents a refinded Neoclassicism.
- Playing with Fire: European Terracotta Models, 1740-1840 (Terres cuites européennes de 1750 á 1830). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 2004.
Provenance E. F. Bonaventure, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1910 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] On pedestal: Beauvallet fecit anno 1813; [Inscription] On front: SAPHO (sic)
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1910
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