Gilles Lambert Godecharle (1750-1835)
18th century, Terracotta
An exquisite female figure, whose prominent nose does not detract from her grace and beauty, this work has been reattributed to the most important Belgian sculptor of the Neoclassical period, Godecharle, after a comparison with other sculptures of similar quality. Godecharle was a prolific sculptor, who produced numerous portraits and monumental works; he was trained in the art of drawing at Nivelles by Laurent Delvaux, who secured an annual pension for him from the Prince of Lorraine. This allowed him to move to Paris in 1772, where he entered the Academy under the protection of Pigalle. He then moved to Berlin to continue his studies, later to London, and finally to Rome. In 1780, he returned to his homeland and embarked on a career that brought him great success, with important works such as the decoration of the bas-relief pediment of the Palais de la Nation. Among his most famous works are the thirty-seven busts of illustrious men, from antiquity to the contemporary, that he created for the gardens of Waspelaar Castle between 1791 and 1822.