Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Bénévent
Although Dantan executed sculptural decoration for architectural projects, his primary activity was as a portraitist. However, it was for his sculpted caricatures, called portraits chargés (loaded portraits), that the artist became famous. During his lifetime Dantan produced more than 400 portraits chargés, which were executed in plaster so that they would be affordable. The subject of this example is Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, a French diplomat and ultimate political survivor—he worked successfully from the regime of Louis XVI through the French Revolution, and then under Napoleon I, Louis XVIII, and Louis Philippe. Talleyrand is often regarded as one of the most versatile and influential diplomats in European history.