Thursday, 3 March 2016

Charles I - Busts by Rysbrack & Roubiliac




Charles I
attrib. to Michael Rysbrack
Sotheby's Ashdown House Sale
27th October 2010





 Image result for Charles I Sothebys Rysbrack





Text below from Sotheby's Catalogue
Description: CIRCLE OF MICHAEL RYSBRACK (1694-1770) ENGLISH, MID-18 TH CENTURY CHARLES I marble bust: 71 by 61cm., 28 by 24in. socle: 16 by 22.5cm., 6¼ by 8 7/8in.
Notes: When this marble bust of Charles I was first published in 1986 it was attributed to the circle of François Dieussart, the Flemish sculptor who worked in England from 1636. It was proposed that the bust was stylistically comparable to the late works of Dieussart or his relative Christopher, in particular a marble bust of Charles II in Bruges. This observation was not unfounded, for there are compositional similarities between the busts. The two figures each wear a sash draped from the left shoulder, breastplates articulated with piccadils, a feature peculiar to seventeenth-century armour, and the emblem of the Order of the Garter, The Lesser George.

The present marble is, however, closer in conception to eighteenth-century historicizing portrait busts and seems to derive inspiration from Gianlorenzo Bernini's bust of Charles I, commissioned in 1635 and lost in the Whitehall Palace Fire of 1698. In 1996, Gudrun Raatschen published two re-discovered plaster casts recording the face of Bernini's lost bust of Charles I, in a private collection and at Berkeley Castle. There are several distinct similarities between these casts and the face of the present marble, particularly the domed forehead, the shape of the plump lips and beard and the analogous arrangement of the hair framing the face.

It is likely that the present bust dates to the eighteenth century, the period in which the desire to establish a British national identity gave birth to a new taste for historical portraits. The present marble finds a conceptual parallel in Michael Rysbrack's bust of Edward the Black Prince, dating to 1736 (sold in these rooms on 9th December 2005 for £164,800). Confirmation of a mid-18th century date for this marble is also supported by the treatment of the carving. The degree and variation in the polishing of the front and the rough, but regular finish on the back of the bust find close comparison with the above mentioned bust of the Black Prince and a bust, probably of John Hampden, sold in these rooms in 1979, attributed to Rysbrack.

In addition, the composition of the bust has some affinities with the marble bust of Charles I by Louis-François Roubiliac, which is dated 1759 and is now in the Wallace Collection. As in the present marble, Roubiliac's Charles I is presented wearing riveted armour with an elaborate sash draped across his chest. The Lesser George rests on top of the King's sash at an angle, an arrangement that is mirrored in the present bust. It is recorded that Roubiliac based his bust in part on a cast of the lost Bernini, a claim that is substantiated by the fact that Roubiliac's figure exhibits the same domed forehead, plump lips and arrangement of hair as is seen in both the Bernini casts and the present marble.

RELATED LITERATURE
C. Avery, 'The Collector Earl and his Modern Marbles. Thomas Howard and François Dieussart,' Apollo, June, 2006, pp.46-53;
Charles Avery, 'François Dieussart (c. 1600-61), Portrait Sculptor to the Courts of Northern Europe,' Studies in European Sculpture, London, 1981, pp. 205-235;
Katharine Eustace, 'The politics of the past. Stowe and the development of the historical portrait bust,' Apollo, July, 1998, pp. 31-40;
John Peacock, 'The Visual Image of Charles I,' in Thomas N. Corns (ed.), The Royal Images: Representations of Charles I, Cambridge, 1999, pp. 209-220;
Gudrun Raatschen, 'Plaster Casts of Bernini's Bust of Charles I,' Burlington Magazine, December, 1996, pp. 813-816;
Jane Roberts, with a note on portrait busts by Jonathan Marsden, The King's Head. Charles I: King and Martyr, London, 1999, pp. 3-4, 36-41;
M. Vickers, 'Rupert of the Rhine: A new portrait by Dieussart and Bernini's Charles I,' Apollo, March, 1978, pp. 161-169

Provenance: Sold Sotheby's London, 22 April 1986, lot 76;
with Christopher Gibbs until acquired for the Hall at Ashdown House
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Terracotta portrait bust of King Charles I (1600-1649) by Louis-Francois Roubiliac, his head turned slightly to left, wearing armour which is covered on his left side by drapery. On his chest rests a medallion embossed with St. George and the Dragon in relief suspended from a chain.



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Charles I
Louis Francois Roubiliac
Terracotta 
British Museum
Terracotta portrait bust of King Charles I (1600-1649) by Louis-Francois Roubiliac, his head turned slightly to left, wearing armour which is covered on his left side by drapery. On his chest rests a medallion embossed with St. George and the Dragon in re







Terracotta portrait bust of King Charles I (1600-1649) by Louis-Francois Roubiliac, his head turned slightly to left, wearing armour which is covered on his left side by drapery. On his chest rests a medallion embossed with St. George and the Dragon in re





Terracotta portrait bust of King Charles I (1600-1649) by Louis-Francois Roubiliac, his head turned slightly to left, wearing armour which is covered on his left side by drapery. On his chest rests a medallion embossed with St. George and the Dragon in re



  • Trustees' Report 13 July 1833, the Principal Librarian, Sir Henry Ellis, describes how the Attendant of the Print Room while endeavouring to open the Bulls Eye window in the Department, dislodged the Roubiliac bust of Charles I which broke into 'numberous pieces'. Ellis applied to Westmacott to repair it. (information from Hugo Chapman, April 2013). Remains of surface coating; some areas of discoloration after cleaning (this terracotta was severely blackened by pollution from coal fires etc until conservation in anticipation of catalogue photography and display in gallery 46 in 1994. A note (probably by Hugh Tait) records that the bust was cleaned in the V&A 6.9.49
Presented by Dr Matthew Maty, 1762, who purchased it at Roubiliac's sale, either lot 79 on second day's sale, 13 May 1762, or lot 74 on third day's sale, 14 May 1762.
Info and Photographs - British Museum
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Charles I
Louis Francois Roubiliac
1759
71cms
Wallace Collection




Bust of Charles I, King of England






Provenance: George Selwyn
Maria Fagnani (1771 - 1856), wife of the third Marquis of Hertford
She greatly increased the family’s wealth through substantial bequests from the 4th Duke of Queensberry (‘Old Q’) and his associate George Selwyn who both believed they were here father
Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford.
Described in the Gentleman's Magazine in 1788 as with Selwyn at Matson Gloucestershire
A free interpretation by Roubiliac of the famous sculpted bust of Charles I (1600-49) by the great Italian sculptor Bernini, destroyed during the fire at Whitehall Palace in 1697. Roubiliac’s bust was commissioned by George Selwyn for his house at Matson, Gloucestershire, and formed part of a group of historical portraits probably given by him to his adopted daughter Maria Fagnani, the 3rd Marchioness of Hertford (from whom it passed to her husband). It once had a pedestal of rosewood inscribed ‘King Charles came to Matson with his two sons, 10 August 1643’ which presumably explains the commission.
Text above adapted from the Wallace Collection website.


Bust of King Charles IThe Wallace Collection, London
Charles I
Wallace Collection
  COMPASS Title: Robert van Voerst, Portrait bust of Charles I, an engraving
Charles I
Unfinished engraving of the bust after Francois Dieussart
Robert van Voerst
495 x 325 mm.
c.1636.
© The Trustees of the British Museum

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