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Louis Claude Vassé

(1716–1772, Paris)

Amor with Bow. Red chalk. 24 x 21.5 cm.

The sculptor, Louis Claude Vassé, came from a family of artists stretching back several generations. Trained initially by his father, François Antoine V (1681 Toulon – 1736 Paris), he was subsequently apprenticed to none other than Edmé Bouchardon. His career developed successfully along traditional lines. Louis Claude won the Academy’s coveted Grand Prix in 1739 and continued his training as a pensionnaire at the Villa Medici in Rome from 1740-45. A full member of the Paris Academy from 1751, Vassé was appointed a professor there in 1761. Sculp­tures from different stages of his creative development are kept at the Louvre in Paris.

Throughout his life Vassé remained closely connected with Bouchardon’s style both as a sculptor and a draughtsman. This particular depiction of a charmingly mischievous putto has been executed in a highly concentrated and refined drawing technique, whose clarity and perfect, sculptural sense of form give the work great visual appeal. It is easy to recognise the distinctive, personal style of a very soundly educated and highly talented sculptor. In terms of refined draughtsmanship and linear beauty Vassé’s art is occasionally superior to that of his teacher Bouchardon.

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