Portrait of Antoine-René de Voyer de Paulmy d’Argenson
French, 1730– 1809
The subject of this small sculpture is Marc Antoine-René de Voyer, the Marquis de Paulmy and third Marquis d’Argenson. A diplomat, statesman, and French Minister of War, De Voyer was also an art collector and bibliophile. His library included some 100,000 carefully selected volumes, largely by French writers, especially poets. The documents he wrote cataloguing his library reveal his expertise and taste. This small terra-cotta is attributed to Jean-Baptiste Defernex, who worked as a modeler for the Sèvres porcelain factory during this period.