CAFFIÉRI, Jean-Jacques
(b. 1725, Paris, d. 1792, Paris)

Bust of Helvétius

1772
Terracotta
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Claude-Adrien Helvétius (1715 - 1771) was a French philosopher and litterateur.

Caffiéri executed several busts of Helvétius, all apparently posthumously of the sitter - which would scarcely be guessed from the impressive terracotta, at once acute and sensitive in its response to features which seem moulded by life and by the mind. The character suggested is complex, and that is true enough of the subject.