Claude Michel (Clodion) sculpture realises 180% increase on estimate

A sculpture by Claude Michel (aka Clodion) has sold for $2.8m in a sale of Old Master Paintings and Sculpture at Christie's New York on January 29.

The lot smashed past an estimate of $1m, achieving an increase of 180%.

Clodion Sothebys Bacchae
Clodion was a major proponent of the rococo style

The French sculptor (1738-1814) was a proponent of the rococo style whose work was known across Europe. He produced sculptures for some of Europe's most powerful leaders, including Catherine the Great.

His ties to the aristocracy became problematic during the French revolution. He was forced to flee from Paris in 1792 and spent six years living in the south of France, returning only when the guillotines were packed away.

The present lot, given the self-explanatory title of Bacchante with Grapes Carried by Two Bacchantes and a Bacchant, was executed in 1800.

Sotheby's commented prior to the sale: "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."

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