Jean-Baptiste Defernex

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Distressed Spirit (1768)
by Jean-Baptiste Defernex

Jean-Baptist Defernex (1729–1783) was a French artist best known for his portrait busts, most often of women.

Little is known of his early training, but he started as a modeler at the Sèvres factory. He was sculptor to the Duc d'Orléans and worked on gilded lead statue groups of children at the Palais-Royal. He was not a member of the Royal Academy, but rather that of St. Luke. He had a school for sculpture and drawing; Louis Jean-Jacques Durameau studied there.

Defernex received no official commissions, and his art seems to have been regarded as rather unfashionable. His portrait busts have been compared to those of Jean-Baptiste Greuze and described as "honest, unidealized, quite free from gallant flattery": "All the graces and tender amorous atmosphere that floated about Madame Favart," the singer and actress who was the subject of a 1762 work, "seem dispelled by his convincingly truthful bust of her."[1]

Other works include:


  1. ^ Michael Levey, Painting and Sculpture in France 1700–1789 (Yale University Press, 1993), p. 153 online.
  2. ^ Monique Barbier, "Abbreviated Chronology of Houdon's Life and Work," in Jean-Antoine Houdon: Sculptor of the Enlightenment University of Chicago Press, p. 177 online.

External links[edit]

  • Three works (Distressed Spirit, bust of Madame Favart, The Milkmaid) among the collections of the Louvre.
  • Jean-Baptiste Defernex in American public collections, on the French Sculpture Census website Edit this at Wikidata