Object Image

Madame de Wailly, née Adélaïde-Flore Belleville (1765–1838)

The sitter was the wife of Pajou's lifelong friend Charles de Wailly, a companion from student days in Rome. De Wailly, court architect to Louis XVI, had built neighboring houses for Pajou and himself, and Pajou executed busts of the architect and his wife. After her husband's death, Madame de Wailly married M. de Fourcroy, a medical doctor and chemist.

The portrait of Madame de Wailly displays the sculptor's gifts to best advantage. The solidity that characterizes his work is enlivened by an equally characteristic linearity, resulting in a brilliant eighteenth-century version of a Roman matron's portrait. The sense of dignity does not suppress the spirit of humor and intelligence that radiate...

Bust: marble; base: grey marble
8.0 x 19.0in
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection