FALCONET, Étienne-Maurice
(b. 1716, Paris, d. 1791, Paris)


Marble, height 80 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

The Baigneuse of 1757 was only the first of Falconet's variations on the theme. It led to a whole range of figures, now standing, now seated, sometimes accompanied by a Cupid, but of which the main purpose always remains a study of the naked female body - a body which does not vary very much in type, being always youthful and slightly immature. Above all, the purpose and the appeal of such work lay in the sense of marble turned to flesh.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 19 minutes):
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme