Head of a draped female saint wearing a wimple, in unglazed modeled terra cotta from the workshops of Le Mans, early 17th c., a fragment.
H 25 cm (9 ¾ inches)
From the end of the 16th through the 17th century, the workshops of the Maine region, centering around the city of Le Mans, were a primary source of religious statuary in France. Their production, inspired by the arrival of Italian artists, the end of the religious wars, and the abundance of a high-quality clay suitable for the purpose, was primarily in polychromed or white-glazed terracotta and reached a high level of technical perfection as well as individual artistic accomplishment. Typically work from this source consisted of head-to-toe groups for retables and our object is a fragment which has never been glazed.
Bibliographic reference12: Catalogue of a show in Paris, Le Louvre 2002, Belles et inconnues. Sculptures en terre cuite des ateliers du Maine XVIe-XVIIe siècles, Paris, Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 2002