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Portrait of Antoine-René de Voyer de Paulmy d’Argenson

European Art

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Portrait of Antoine-René de Voyer de Paulmy d’Argenson

Artwork Details


Jean-Baptiste Defernex
French, 1730– 1809


ca. 1765


Terracotta on wooden base decorated with gilded bronze

Accession #



16 15/16 x 9 1/16 x 6 5/16 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 2, Gallery 208


The subject of this small sculpture is Marc Antoine-René de Voyer, the Marquis de Paulmy and third Marquis d’Argenson. A diplomat, statesman, and French Minister of War, De Voyer was also an art collector and bibliophile. His library included some 100,000 carefully selected volumes, largely by French writers, especially poets. The documents he wrote cataloguing his library reveal his expertise and taste. This small terra-cotta is attributed to Jean-Baptiste Defernex, who worked as a modeler for the Sèvres porcelain factory during this period.


Purchase with European Art Acquisition Fund, purchase with funds from Irene and Howard Stein, through prior acquisitions from the Friends of Art and Colonel Clifford C. Early, High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund, and funds from the Phoenix Society