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'Honoré de Balzac' by Pierre-Eugène-Emile Hébert

French Terracotta Sculptures

In the 1700s and 1800s, sculptors frequently used terracotta (a type of clay) to make preliminary versions of sculptures, called maquettes. These intimate sketches, often made from live models, reveal traces of an artist’s process. The High’s collection of French terracottas includes works by Pierre-Eugène-Émile Hébert, François Rude, and Louis-Claude Vassé.