Louise Brongniart – Jean Antoine Houdon

FRENCH, 1741-1828

Among all the portrait busts of distinguished excellence which Houdon executed, his frequent studies of children are, perhaps, the best, since fondness for his small sitters led him to put especial devotion into any subject in which children had a part. Many of these portraits are of members of his own large family, whose chief claim to fame is that their features still survive in Houdon’s work; but of the sitter for the bust in the Altman Collection nothing is known save that she was very pretty, that her name is said to have been Louise Brongniart, and that her portrait is a fine example of one of the most noteworthy phases of a great sculptor. The bust formerly belonged to M. Mialet in Paris.