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Anatomical Mask - Item #154

$ 220.00

anatomical-mask-flat-white

 

12 Inches High x 8 Inches Wide x 6 Inches Deep

This life-size mask is from neoclassical sculptor Houdon's study in preparation for a marble sculpture of Saint John the Baptist. It was one of his first commissions, and he was only 25 years old. Upon seeing the anatomical study, his friends and colleagues recognized it as an important artwork in its own right and suggested he make a mold of it to produce copies. Houdon's anatomical study became widely popular. He gave and sold many copies of it to art academies and schools. Early on he omitted the tree trunk which would have been used to support the finished marble figure's weight. The study continues to be utilized by artists today for its beautiful representation of the human form. Early copies are located at the Académie de France in Rome, the Schlossmuseum Gotha in Germany, the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the École supérieure d'art et design Le Havre-Rouen in Normandy, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Saint John the Baptist was commissioned by the Carthusians for the Roman church of Santa Maria degli Angeli as a companion piece to his Saint Bruno, but Saint John was never carved in marble. Houdon placed a plaster copy in the designated niche instead, but it fell and was damaged extensively in 1894. Today, a plaster is in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. 

 

Artist: Jean-Antoine Houdon

Museum/Location: Académie de France, Rome, the Schlossmuseum Gotha, Germany, the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, the École supérieure d'art et design Le Havre-Rouen, Normandy, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Time Period: Modern, 1767