This masterpiece of French 18th-century sculpture, by Houdon gives Diana an original treatment, presenting her naked and running, in contrast with the static and idealised Diana of his predecessors, dressed in a tunic as a symbol of virginity.
In this version Diana had all her usual attributes: a bow, arrows and the moon in the last quarter on her head. In this version, in marble, however, because of technical demands due to the excessive weight of the material, Houdon was forced to create support points: a clump of aquatic plants at the base and a quiver of arrows to consolidate her left arm.
A unique example, the statue belonged to Catherine of Russia, and was on display in the Hermitage Museum. Its popularity had more to do with a number of factors, including the scandal caused by her complete nudity, which, at the time, was regarded as excessive and inappropriate.
Catherine II Empress of Russia; The Hermitage, St Petersburg, 1784. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian through his representative, Paris, June 1930.
H. 210 cm; W. 98 cm; D. 115 cm
Maria Rosa Figueiredo, French Sculpture. Catalogue of European Sculpture, vol. I. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 1992, pp. 88–95.
Rona Goffen (ed.), Museums Discovered. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Woodbine Books, 1995, pp. 104–5, pl.
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2001, p. 146, cat. 122.
These cookies are used to enhance your browsing experience, security and our website's performance, allowing you to access the main features of the website. Therefore, they are always enabled. This type of cookies includes cookies that allow you to be remembered as you browse the website during a single session.
These cookies collect information about the use of the website to improve the services provided and to evaluate the performance of the website. Some of these cookies may be used to test pages or the functionality of the website by measuring the reaction of users. These cookies may be our own and / or owned by third parties.
These cookies are third-party cookies that allow to connect to social media and share multimedia content from our website on those networks. Some of these cookies help us to adapt advertising outside of our website to the interests of the users. By disabling these cookies, it will no longer be possible to directly share our content in any social media
For more information about cookies and the processing of your personal data, please see the Privacy and Cookies Policy. You can change your cookie settings at any time through the link at the bottom of the page.