Louis-Pierre Deseine

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Entry to Vienna, bas-relief at the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Paris
Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé, bust, 1814, (Château de Chantilly).

Louis-Pierre Deseine (1749–1822) was a French sculptor, who was born and died in Paris. He is known above all for his portrait busts and imaginary portraits.


Deseine trained in several ateliers, notably with Augustin Pajou, whose portrait bust he exhibited at the Salon of 1785.[1] He won a first prize from the Académie, which sent him to study further in Rome (1781–84).

At the Salon of 1789, he showed a portrait head of Belisarius.[2]

In 1814 he published a history of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, of which he had been a member.[3] He described himself in 1814 as a member of the academies of Copenhagen and of Bordeaux, and as holding the post of first sculptor to the prince de Condé, for whom he had executed statues in the 1780s for the dining room at Chantilly,[4] where some drawings and maquettes are preserved.

His elder brother, the little-known sculptor Claude-André Deseine (1740–1823) was a deaf-mute, whose Republican sensibilities and the exaggerated character of his portrait studies has encouraged Michael Levey see him as a contrast to his brother.


  • Portrait bust of Augustin Pajou (1785), terracotta, Paris, musée du Louvre
  • Portrait bust of Claude-Pierre-Louis Durand at the age of four (1788),plaster, Paris, musée du Louvre
  • Portrait bust of Louis XVI (1790), marble, Versailles
  • Portrait bust of Louis XVII (1790), marble, Versailles
  • Mucius Scaevola (1791), marble, Paris, musée du Louvre. This was his morceau de reception when he became an Academician
  • Portrait bust of Robespierre, (1792) terracotta, Musée de la Révolution française, Château de Vizille.
  • Portrait bust of Charles VIII (1799), terracotta, Paris, école nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts
  • Portrait d'Abélard (1801), plaster bust in a stone medallion, Paris, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts
  • Portrait bust of Pope Pius VII (1805, shown at the Salon of 1806), plaster, tinted to resemble terracotta, Rueil-Malmaison, château de Malmaison
  • Portrait bust of Pierre-Nicolas de Fontenay, sénateur (1743–1806) (1807), marble, Versailles
  • Portrait bust of the duc de Luynes, pair de France, plaster, (1808, signed) sold, Château de Belle Eglise, 5 June 2006, lot 306
  • Portrait bust of Jean-Baptiste Bessières, duc d'Istrie, maréchal de France (1813), plaster patinated bronze, île d'Aix, musées de l'île d'Aix
  • Portrait bust of Louis-Antoine-Henri de Bourbon, duc d'Enghien (1817), plaster, Chantilly, musée Condé. The monument was finished after his death by his nephew.
  • Portrait bust of Louis XVIII, (1817), Chantilly, musée Condé
  • Maquette for the monument of the duc d'Enghien at Vincennes (1817), plaster over wood, Chantilly, musée Condé
  • Maquette for the monument of the Cardinal de Belloy, plaster, (c 1819) musée du Louvre. The monument to Cardinal de Belloy was erected in Notre-Dame de Paris, 1819

Not dated[edit]

  • Two Nymphs supporting a putto, terracotta, inscribed, sold Sotheby's Arcade, 22 July 1993, lot 292
  • Terracotta maquette, Virgin and Child (sold Bonham's London, 9 May 1996, lot 7
  • The Entry at Vienna, bas-relief on the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Paris
  • Portrait bust of Jean-Joachim Winckelmann, tinted plaster, musée de Versailles,
  • Comte Jean-Étienne-Marie Portalis, over lifesize statue, marble, Versailles


Drawings by Deseine are at the musée du Louvre ("Étude d'un homme debout avec une draperie sur l'épaule") and the musée Condé, Chantilly ("Le Déluge", "Deux Romains saluant un empereur assis" and "Lars Porsenna"); the musée Condé also conserves two projects for the monument to the duc d'Enghien.


  1. ^ Michael Levey, Painting and Sculpture in France, 1700-1789 (Yale University Press) 1993:250-51.
  2. ^ Noted by Klaus Weschenfelder, "Belisar und sein Begleiter. Die Karriere eines Blinden in der Kunst vom 17. bis zum 19. Jahrhundert", Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 30 (2003:245-268) p. 263, no. 65 in Weschenfelder's list of representations of Belisarius.
  3. ^ Deseine, Statuaire, Notices historiques sur les académies royales de peinture, sculpture de Paris, et celle d'architecture (Paris: Le Normant, 1814).
  4. ^ Michael Levey.


  • Emmanuel Schwartz, Les Sculptures de l'École des Beaux-Arts de Paris. Histoire, doctrines, catalogue, (École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris) 2003.

External links[edit]