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Le Jeune Suppliant or La Protestation: C.72-1950

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Le Jeune Suppliant or La Protestation
Translated as: The young supplicant


Factory: Vincennes Porcelain Manufactory
Modeller: Blondeau, Pierre (After)
Designer: Boucher, François (After)




Glazed soft-paste porcelain figure of a young boy, standing with bended left knee holding his hands together .

Soft-paste porcelain covered with a faintly greenish glaze. The underside has a rounded rectangular depression surrounded by an unglazed area. The figure stands on a rocky base beside an upright rock on which rests a basket of roses and other flowers. The young boy has curly, tousled hair and wears a jacket and breeches trimmed with bows of ribbon; his feet are bare. He stands with his left knee slightly bent, leaning forward, his hands clasped together as if in supplication.


History note: Uncertain before donor

Legal notes

Given by Mrs W.D. Dickson

Measurements and weight

Height: 19.7 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Vincennes ⪼ Val-de-Marnes ⪼ France
  • Paris ⪼ Val-de-Marne ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1950-09) by Dickson, W. D. (Frances Louisa), Mrs


18th Century, Mid#
Louis XV
Circa 1752 CE - 1755 CE


This glazed soft-paste porcelain figure was adapted from a design by François Boucher by Pierre Blondeau, and was in production before 1752. The design in black chalk on paper is inscribed on the back ‘Dessein de m. Boucher apartenant à la/Manufacture de Vincennes, ce 23 aoust 1749 . . .’. (MNS Archives, Inventaire Brongniart Section F § F. 1858. No. 3) It is the earliest known design made by Boucher for the factory, and is the only one which survives in the factory’s archives today. The plaster model is also preserved at the factory. In the drawing the boy is portrayed as a gardener leaning on a spade, and the figure was originally known as 'Le petit jardinier' but although he appears with a spade in painted form on tableware, the spade was omitted from the figures The Boucher drawing and the figure can be related to a series of tapestries of children, and a set of chair covers made for Madame de Pompadour by Neilson 1751-2, and listed in her inventory of 1764.This example is unusual in being glazed rather than biscuit. The boy was one of a series of eight 'Enfants' designed by Boucher, described as ‘Enfans de M. Boucher’ or ‘Enfans de Boucher’ in the biscuit firing records and inventories after 1752, but not differentiated as to subject, although they were grouped into large, medium and small sizes. In the inventory of 1 October1752 there were 16 biscuit examples ready to be glazed at 15 livres and in the Magazin de Vente, 8 large 'Enfans' at 24 livres, 61 medium-sized at 18 livres and 10 smaller at 12 livres, which were still present in the inventory of 3 April 1753. In addition there were then 5 at 20 livres and 3 glazed examples reduced to 15 livres, and two at 20 livres in the hands of the painters. Boucher's child figures remained popular for many years. In the inventory of 1 January 1768 (work in 1767) the sculpture in biscuit included 11 of the first size at 18 livres and 445 of the 2nd size at 36 livres, and the inventory of 1 January 1770 (work in 1769) included 685 of the 2nd size at 36 livres. Today this model is usually paired with the figure of a young girl known as La petite fille au tablier. Although the records show that the model was produced glazed and unglazed, the former are now rare.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Base Depth 6.5 cm Width 9.7 cm

Materials used in production

greenish-toned where thick Lead-glaze
Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Soft-paste porcelain covered with lead-glaze which is faintly greenish in tone where it lies thickly

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 8
  • Location: On back of upright rock
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: B
  • Location: On back of upright rock next to the 8
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.72-1950
Primary reference Number: 82560
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 12 January 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Le Jeune Suppliant or La Protestation" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-16 06:06:23

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