Bust of a Little Girl - Saly
Reproduction patinated by hand. Mold made from an imprint of the original work.
This model has been identified as either Alexandrine d'Etiolles, daughter of the Marquise de Pompadour, as the daughter of the painter De Troy, or even as the young Catherine Hallé, child of the painter Hallé.
However, none of the hypothesis seem plausible, but it is certain that ever since the 18th century the bust was famous : Boucher, amongst others, referred to it in a number of compositions as a symbol of sculpture; young artists could study it from an engraved version, while many other replicas attested to its celebrity.
The piece may have been created by Jacques-François Saly (1717-1776) during his brief stay in Paris upon his return from the French Academy in Rome and before his departure for Denmark (1753) where the greater part of his career developed.
Although this sculptor was relatively little known in France, he was considered as one of the most prominent figures in the spread of French art abroad during the 18th century.