(b. 1698, Chaumont, d. 1762, Paris)

Bust of Pope Clement XII

Galleria Corsini, Florence

When in 1730 a Corsini pope was elected as Clement XII, the Bouchardon's friendship of the art-loving papal nephew Cardinal Neri Corsini brought Bouchardon the important commission for a bust of the new pope. In this bust Bouchardon aims at the natural and actual, with virtuoso treatment of the cape, the cap, and the fur trimmings, all enhancing the dignified portrait likeness itself. Attention has been paid particularly to the sitter's eyes, the pupils being only lightly incised: perhaps to suggest the pale colour of them (they were blue) and also the milky gaze of incipient blindness.