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    Artist Name:

    Jean-Baptiste Defernex

    Nationality & Life Dates:

    French, 1730– 1809


    Portrait of Antoine-René de Voyer de Paulmy d’Argenson


    ca. 1765


    Terracotta on wooden base decorated with gilded bronze


    16 15/16 x 9 1/16 x 6 5/16 inches

    Credit Line:

    Purchase with European Art Acquisition Fund, purchase with funds from Irene and Howard Stein, through prior acquisitions from the Friends of Art and Colonel Clifford C. Early, High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund, and funds from the Phoenix Society

    Accession Number:


    On View - Stent Family Wing, Second Level, Gallery 203
    This small terracotta bust attributed Jean-Baptiste Defernex was purchased by the High Museum of Art to enrich the collection's French sculpture holdings. Research into this sculpture had a three-pronged approach. First, research into Paulmy d'Argenson's biography was undertaken to reveal more secure connections to its current attribution to Defernex. Next, the Fellows investigated the attribution by comparing this artistic style with other sculptors of the time who worked in the medium of the terracotta portraits. Finally, a technical study was conducted with the help and guidance of Renee Stein, conservator at Emory's Michael C. Carlos Museum, which yielded further information about the bust's history and how it may have appeared in the past.

    Download Research Report

    Back to Research at the High

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    Please Note: Not all permanent collection works are currently on view. Please contact the Museum concerning the on view status for a specific work if required.

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