A sculpture by Claude Michel (aka Clodion) is the headline lot of Sotheby's sale of old master paintings and sculpture in New York on January 29 with a $600,000-1m estimate.
Clodion (1738-1814) was a rococo sculptor who worked for patrons across Europe, including Catherine the Great. He continued to work until the ravages of the French revolution in 1792, which did away with most of his customer base and forced him out of Paris.
The work is titled Bacchante with Grapes Carried by Two Bacchantes and a Bacchant and dates to 1800, two years after his return home to Paris.
Sotheby's comment: "Clodion was innovative; he developed his own style which was punctuated by the meticulous attention to detail, lyrical figure-style and authentic, tactile surfaces��?
"The present sculpture is a rare and spectacular achievement in clay that provides insight into the aristocracy's great passion for the Rococo and perhaps a delightful reprieve from the memory of the Revolution."
Also available are three reliefs of the Nativity by Andrea and Giovanni Della Robbia, which carry an estimate of $400,000-600,000.
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