Directory of polychrome sculptures in French public collections

1848 - 1916

The aim of this database is to establish an index of western polychrome sculpture produced between 1848 and 1916 in public collections in France. Sculptures in public buildings and religious buildings are not included, and neither are collections of anatomical wax models, ethnographical moulds, and sculptures in the field of popular art. They may be the focus of separate research in their own right outside the domain of the fine arts. Read more

The choice of chronological boundaries for the research proved to be problematic. We focused on the period spanned by the collections of the Musée d’Orsay, 1848-1914, and also included some exceptions which were already in the collection. These were primarily Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) whose bust of Madame Renoir (RF 2764) is dated 1916, and also Antoine Bourdelle (1861 – 1929) and Paul Dardé (1888-1963), most of whose polychrome works were produced post-1914. Read more


These two chronological friezes highlight the period in which polychrome sculptures entered public collections by purchase, gift and bequest.


Donations and bequests