Skip to main content

François-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire (1694-1778): C.14-1947

An image of Bust

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


François-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire (1694-1778)


Factory: Member of the Wood family




Lead-glazed earthenware painted in enamels\par

White earthenware with slightly blue tinted glaze, painted in turquoise, flesh-pink, pink, red, dark maroon, and black enamels. The bust is supported on a rectangular socle with a dark maroon line running round its upper and lower edges. The sitter faces front with his head turned a quarter to his right. He wears a long curling wig, a turquoise blue coat over a red waistcoat and a pale lilac, ermine-lined cloak over his left shoulder, draping across his body at front and back; the socle has a red-brown line round its upper and lower edges \par


History note: Unknown before donor

Legal notes

Given by L.C.G. Clarke, MA

Measurements and weight

Height: 16.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1947-11) by Clarke, Louis Colville Gray


Late 18th century
George III
Circa 1785 CE - 1790 CE


Voltaire was a French writer, historian and philosopher, who was a leading figure in the intellectual movement known as The Enlightenment. This model does not conform to well-known busts of Voltaire by sculptors such as Lemoyne, Houdon and Rosset. It was probably derived from a bust modelled by Paul-Louis Cyfflé (1724-1806) and made in terre de Lorraine by the Luneville factory in France (an example is in the V. & A., London, inv. no. C.685-1909). It was probably produced by a member of the Wood family, possibly Enoch Wood.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( turquoise, flesh-pink, pink, dark maroon, and black)

Materials used in production

slightly blue tinted Lead-glaze
white Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Moulding : White earthenware, moulded, lead-glazed very slightly blue, and painted in turquoise, flesh-pink, pink, dark maroon and black enamels

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.14-1947
Primary reference Number: 71963
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 10 May 2017 Last processed: Tuesday 31 January 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "François-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire (1694-1778)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-02-06 01:13:52

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=François-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire (1694-1778) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-02-06 01:13:52|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="François-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire (1694-1778)"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">François-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire (1694-1778)</figcaption>

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...