Details

Title

Honoré de Balzac

Artist/Maker

Pierre-Eugène-Emile Hébert (French, 1828–1893)

Date

1877

Medium

Terracotta

Dimensions

33 7/16 x 25 9/16 x 16 15/16 inches

Credit

Purchase with funds from Irene and Howard Stein

Accession #

2006.19

On View

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 2, Gallery 207

Pierre-Eugène-Émile Hébert specialized in memorial sculptures and portraits of great men. Throughout a successful career, Hébert exhibited at the Salon many times until his death in 1893. Remarkable for its grand dimensions, this terra-cotta portrait pays homage to Honoré de Balzac’s immense literary prestige and physical presence. Hébert cleverly combined a monumental quality with a sense of the sitter’s intellectual agility—a sharp sideways glance and faint smile express the character of this writer, an ironic observer of his contemporaries.