A young man looks at us. He is smartly dressed and wears a very remarkable wig with curls on the sides and a ponytail.
Considering the style of hairdo, this terracotta bust will have been conceived around 1785. A similar wig is worn by Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat marquis de Condorcet as portrayed by Jean-Antoine Houdon in a terracotta bust now in the Louvre.
Unfortunately, we don’t know the creator of this work. Undoubtedly, he was a proficient sculptor, appearing from the natural facial expression. The true to nature representation of the hair and the loose way of depicting the cravat between the lapels underline the quality of this terracotta portrayal.
Guilhelm Scherf, Jean Antoine Houdon la sculpture sensible, Paris 2010, cat.no.23