Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) was the definitive French Neoclassic sculptor and ranks with his near contemporaries Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen as one of the three supreme practitioners of the style. He travelled to the US, where he made busts of Washington and Franklin, inter alia, but it is his Diana that has really come to define him. Diana was originally a life-sized nude, but it is her exquisitely refined expression that has proven so compelling and which has gained expression in all manner of busts, some retaining the nudity of the original, others clothing her in classical garb. The present incarnation is a reduction made by the French sculptor Francois Joseph Bosio (1769 - 1845), whose bust of Napoleon can be found here at Neoclassicisme. This piece is impeccable in every way - impeccable and extraordinarily imposing. Societe des Bronzes Paris, 1872. H: 28"/72cm.