'Pendant de l'amour Falconet' and 'piédestal de l'amour'
  • Statuette
  • 'Pendant de l'amour Falconet' and 'piédestal de l'amour'
  • Manufacture de Sèvres
  • Étienne Maurice Falconet (1716 - 1791), Designer
    Nicolas-Laurent Petit (1725 - 1814), Painter
  • Sèvres, France
  • Date: 1762
  • Medium: Sèvres soft-paste biscuit porcelain; pedestal painted and gilded
  • Height: Total height, 34.3 cm
  • Height: Statuette, 23.8 cm
  • Height: Pedestal, 11.8 cm
  • Inv: C494
  • Location: Study
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Further Reading
  • Biscuit wares (in porcelain that has been fired but not glazed) were introduced at Vincennes in 1751, and may have been invented by the designer Jean-Jacques Bachelier. This sculpture of Psyche as a young girl was created by sculptor Étienne-Maurice Falconet in 1761 as a pendant to the popular statuette after his famous 'amour Falconet'. The turn of Psyche's head engages with her partner who should be placed to her left.

    The pedestal is decorated with an underglaze-blue ground, marine trophies and swags of flowers painted by N.-L. Petit, and gilding. A pedestal was designed at Sèvres to go with the biscuit figures, but the one shown here in fact belongs to a different model, probably The Bather, also by Falconet, for which the marine references would have been more appropriate.

    This Psyche and its pendant Cupid (see C493) belonged to the marquis de Courteille (Louis XV’s minister in charge of the factory) and, on his death in 1767, passed to his daughter and thence by descent, appearing in the Paris sale of the Château de Courteille in 1847, when they were sold with the wrong pedestals.