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Honoré de Balzac

European Art

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Honoré de Balzac

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Pierre-Eugène-Emile Hébert
French, 1828–1893

Date

1877

Medium

Terracotta

Accession #

2006.19

Dimensions

33 7/16 x 25 9/16 x 16 15/16 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 2, Gallery 207

Description

Pierre-Eugène-Émile Hébert specialized in memorial sculptures and portraits of great men. Throughout a successful career, Hébert exhibited at the Salon many times until his death in 1893. Remarkable for its grand dimensions, this terra-cotta portrait pays homage to Honoré de Balzac’s immense literary prestige and physical presence. Hébert cleverly combined a monumental quality with a sense of the sitter’s intellectual agility—a sharp sideways glance and faint smile express the character of this writer, an ironic observer of his contemporaries.

Credit

Purchase with funds from Irene and Howard Stein