Jean-Antoine Houdon

Sculpture and Sensibility

The exhibition “Jean-Antoine Houdon. Sculpture and Sensibility”, presented on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, was dedicated to the sculptural work of Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828). As one of the most famous French artists of the eighteenth century, an exemplary sculptor of the Enlightenment, and the most successful portrait sculptor of his time, Houdon worked in France, Germany, Russia, Italy, and the United States of America.

The exhibition centered around Houdon’s “Frileuse” from 1783, a personification of winter, and the bronze version of the theme dating from 1787, two works that number among the most famous sculptures of their time and paradigmatically illustrate the shift from Baroque to the Enlightenment. A further focus of the show was on Houdon’s personality from the perspective of the materials the artist used.

With a total of forty exhibits—nineteen of the items sculptures by Houdon—the presentation in the Liebieghaus offered the first comprehensive survey of the sculptor’s oeuvre in Germany comparing it to the achievements of important contemporaries like Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, Augustin Pajou, Jean-Jacques Caffiéri, or Jean-Baptiste II Lemoyne.

An exhibition co-organized by the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt am Main, and the Musée Fabre in Montpellier.

Curator Dr. Maraike Bückling (Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung)
Research assistant Eva Maria Breisig M. A.
Main sponsors Hessische Kulturstiftung and Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung
Additional support Stadt Frankfurt am Main, Agglomération Montpellier, La Maison du Pain, Teehaus Ronnefeldt
Media partners VGF – Verkehrsbetriebe Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurter Rundschau
Culture partner hr2 kultur