This is a highly important and beautiful terracotta Crucifixion group by one of the greatest sculptors of 18th-century France.

The terracotta is the model submitted by the artist to the Chapter of Rouen Cathedral in August 1785 for the large gilt-lead Crucifixion which crowned the Neo-Classical rood-screen. This great project, one of the most stupendous interventions in any religious building in Pre-Revolutionary France, was dismantled in 1884 and the sculptural remains further damaged by bombing in 1944. The terracotta is the prime surviving evidence of the artist's greatest religious commission and one of the few surviving testimonies to his religious work. The terracotta has been on loan to the Museum since 2003 and is the focal point of the display of small sculpture in the 'Arts of the 18th Century' gallery, part of the Museum's immensely popular series of new galleries.


Denys Sutton (by 1968); sold SothebyÂ’s, London,1996, private collection.

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