Jean Antoine Houdon

(1741 - 1828)
Jean Antoine Houdon John Paul Jones, 1747 - 1792. Naval adventurer Dated 1780


Houdon is generally considered to have been the greatest sculptor in Europe during the Enlightenment making his name with the portrait bust. His gallery of subjects included portraits from the royal family to heroes of the day. Critics praised his busts for being able to stand out from the crowd, "M. Houdon lacks only the means to make his portraits speak, since, as for likeness, he lacks nothing." He took great care to portray his subjects accurately employing a rigorous system of measurements. This was later demonstrated when the dimensions of the exhumed skull of John Paul Jones was found to be identical to Houdon’s bust.