ALLEGRAIN, Christophe-Gabriel
(b. 1710, Paris, d. 1795, Paris)

Venus at Bath

c. 1767
Marble, height 174 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

The Venus at Bath was commissioned in 1756 and completed c. 1767. Its concept, derived loosely from Giambologna, is much better than the execution, whereby the goddess remains lumpish and her draperies inert and mechanical. However, it was praised by Diderot. This appealed to Madame Du Barry, who obtained the Venus and placed it at Louveciennes, and commissioned in 1772 from the sculptor a pendant of virtually the same subject in less languorous mood: a Diana surprised by Actaeon (also in the Louvre, Paris), completed five years later and then exhibited in the artist's studio.