Study for the

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This sculpture is a clay study for a marble monument to Honoré de Balzac, one of the most celebrated French authors of the nineteenth century. Balzac is shown dressed in the long robe he wore while writing. The broad masses of the body were modeled quite rapidly, and marks made by the artist’s tools and fingers are still visible on the surface of the clay. Balzac’s face is more detailed, his thoughtful expression suggesting a creative imagination at work.

Jean Alexandre Joseph Falguière

French, 1831–1900

Study for the "Monument to Balzac"


Unfired clay on a shaped wood modeling board

28 9/16 x 14 9/16 x 16 3/4 in. (72.5 x 37 x 42.5 cm)

Acquired by the Clark, 2003