(b. 1738, Nancy, d. 1814, Paris)

Satyr and Bacchante

Museum of Art, Philadelphia

Once Clodion had established his style it was to evolve very little in the years of his popularity extending up to the Revolution. Immediately recognizable and immediately appealing, his work managed to remain marvellously inventive. Whatever variations of scale and treatment he was capable of, it is in the small terracotta groups that his energy and delicacy and variety are best displayed. Sometimes chasing each other, sometimes embracing, often accompanied by a mischievous child, these groups of men and women, or satyrs and nymphs, seem like graceful opposing forces from whom a spark is always struck. Even when not actually in contact, their bodies seem to betray on their sensuous surfaces awareness of each other's sex. Man is often the satyr, a little grotesque, a little clumsy, but only to set off the piquant contrast of some slim, naked nymph, herself by no means repelled by a rustic lover.

This group represents a Satyr carrying a Bacchante playing a tambour.