FRENCH ARISTOCRAT & WIFE OF THE ASTRONOMER CASSINI
8080. SUPERB SEVRES FRENCH BISQUE BUST OF MME. LAISTRE. French, 1813. An exquisite early 19th century French sculptural bust of the famous noblewoman executed in the finest possible style. On an original ornate metal base hidden in shadow in the photos. Dimensions 8 x 17.5 inches including the metal base. V / J. G. (artist's initials) / Sèvres mark / 4959 on verso base. 'Laistre, an. 1813' on the left side. The bust in perfect original condition with no repair or restoration. Provenance: An extensive North Eastern collection, acquired at an upscale estate auction in the early 1980's.
Genevieve de Laistre, (1643-1708), daughter of the lieutenant general of the Compte de Clermont, whose valuable dowry of landholdings included the chateau de Thury in the Oise, became the wife of the famous astronomer Cassini and appears as the Moon Maiden on Cassini's maps of the moon. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that Cassini commissioned a pen-and-ink portrait of his wife in 1678. The name of the artist was Jean Baptiste Patigny, the son of the artist and engraver of the map of the Moon.
Jean Dominique (Giovanni Domenico) Cassini, (1625-1712), was one of the greatest astronomers of his time, and the creator of French astronomy, "the one who picked up the torch of Astrophysics, fallen off Galileo's hands" (Andre Danjon). Cassini discovered the four major moons of Saturn and the eponymous Cassini division of Saturn's rings, He was born, on June 8, 1625, in Perinaldo, a village of the hinterland between Vintimiglia and Bordighera, today in the Ligurian province of Imperia (Italy), but at the time in the County of Nice. After his studies at the Jesuit College at Genoa, he was named professor at the University of Bologna in 1651. His first observations were devoted to the Sun, and carried out with the meridian line, that he had built in San Petronio church. In 1673 he married Genevieve de Laistre, daughter of the Count de Clermont's lieutenant-general, who was a King's adviser, and bought the castle of Thury, near Beauvais, which became his family residence.
Sèvres porcelain is the world's finest. The manufacture nationale de Sèvres porcelain factory in Sèvres, France was formerly a royal, then an imperial factory. The facility is now run by the French Ministry of Culture. It was founded in 1738 with the support of Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour and has been producing the world's finest porcelain ever since. Notable artists such as Auguste Rodin, François Boucher, and Tiepolo have done work for them. This exquisite bust is an exemplary example of their long tradition of excellence.
Price on request.