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

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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


18th Century, Late
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: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "François-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire (1694-1778)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-16 02:03:04

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{{cite web|url= |title=François-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire (1694-1778) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-16 02:03:04|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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