Bacchante Supported by Bacchus and a Faun
Clodion (Claude Michel) (French, 1738-1814)
On View

Claude Michel, known as Clodion, was one of the most creative and technically gifted French sculptors in the second half of the 18th century. Although skilled at executing monumental sculpture in marble, he was primarily known for his small and delicate terracotta statuettes. In this example, a young bacchante—a female follower of the Greek god of wine, Bacchus—is playfully carried by Bacchus and a faun.

Terracotta, a type of clay-based ceramic, rose in popularity under Louis XV’s reign. When moist, the clay can be easily shaped by a sculptor’s fingers or modeled with an ébauchoir, a type of wooden tool. The sensitivity of the medium allows for subtle and complex detail, as seen in Bacchus’s garland and the figures’ finely modeled hair.


  • Artist Name: Clodion (Claude Michel) (French, 1738-1814)
  • Title: Bacchante Supported by Bacchus and a Faun
  • Date: 1795
  • Medium: Terracotta
  • Dimensions: 20 in. (50.8 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1965.1.105.S
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Alphonse Adel Alfred Regnier, Comte de Groneau, Marquis of Massa (1812-1846); by descent to his widow;
Caroline-Adelaide Leroux (d. 1874), by descent to her second husband;
Andre-Helene, Baron Roger (1804-1880), Paris (possibly his sale, unsold, 1842), by descent to;
Baroness Roger, Paris, sold 18 November 1916 to;
[Duveen Brothers, New York (3/4), with ¼ sold to Wildenstein, New York, November 18, 1916, sold 27 May 1917 to];
Clinton Ledyard Blair (1867-1949), New York City (until 1936), Blairsden Peapack, New Jersey, by inheritance to his daughter;
Mrs. J. B. Campbell, New York City and Kansas City, Nebraska, sold December 12, 1957 to;
[Duveen Brothers, New York, sold 1965 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-09-02 to 1995-08-13

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  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1974-10-19 to 1976-06-15

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  • Norton Simon Museum, 2014-10-24 to 2015-02-16
  • Le Cabinet de l'amateur et de l'antiquaire, 1842, p. 45, 47, 94
  • Vacquier, J., Le Vieux Hôtels de Paris, 1913, p. 4; p. 1
  • Graham, F. L., Three Centuries of French Art, 1973, p. 36-37
  • Hodgkinson, T., Bulletin of the National Gallery of Canada, 1974, fig. 4 p. 13, 16
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 93
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. D68 p. 446
  • Scherf, G., Dossier de l'art, 2017, p. 24-31
  • Pierre-Hippolyte PENET, Les Adam : la sculpture en héritage, 2021, Fig. 168 p. 275
  • Margerie, Laure de (with a contribution by Antoinette Le Normand-Romain), French Sculpture, An American Passion / La sculpture française, une passion américaine, 2022, Fig. 29 pp. 264-271, p. 267 (ill.)
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