The Marcel Van Rooy – Élise De Smedt Fund has recently purchased a porcelain bust of the Prince-Bishop of Liege at the BRAFA. This 18th century work bears witness to the great portraiture talent and technical mastery of its sculptor.
This porcelain bust of Monseigneur Charles-Nicolas d’Oultremont (1716–1771), Prince-Bishop of Liege, is one of a series of busts of famous people made by the Manufacture de Tournai from 1760 onwards. A similar pair of busts, representing Empress Maria-Theresa and her husband Francis 1st of Lorraine and acquired by the Foundation in 2015, also belongs to this period. This bust of Charles-Nicolas d’Oultremont was made a little before 1765.
Several famous sculptors were working at the Manufacture de Tournai during this period, including the Parisian Nicolas Gauron, famed for the artistic and technical quality of his models. The Prince-Bishop’s bust demonstrates his talent as a faithful portraitist as well as his perfect mastery of working with soft enamelled porcelain. A similar bust is kept at the Royal Museum of Mariemont.
The Marcel Van Rooy – Élise De Smedt Fund was able to acquire this piece during the BRAFA 2019 art fair. The Fund invests in the acquisition and conservation of works of art in earthenware and porcelain with the aim of promoting the ceramic collections in Belgian museums.
Material / technique:
H 31 cm
Type of acquisition:
Acquired by the Marcel Van Rooy – Élise De Smedt Fund