The Stotesbury Art Collection

Love and Friendship

Jean Antoine Tassaert

(Sculptor to the Court of Frederick the Great, 1727 - 1788)


Tassaert's Love and Friendship

An old French 18th century White Marble group representing "Love and Friendship" by Jean Antoine Tassaert (1727 - 1788), sculptor to the court of Frederick the Great. Signed and dated 1776. Photo source: Mattie Edwards Hewitt Collection, Pennsylvania State Archives

Dimensions: Height 5 feet 7 1/3 inches, Depth 1 foot 11 1/4 inches, Width 3 feet 1 3/4 inches. Painted wood pedestal. Louis XVI period (1774 - 1789)


Contrary to some accounts, this statue never belonged to Frederick the Great. It originally was commanded by the Comte de Provence, who afterwards became King Louis VVIII of France. The Comte, at that time enamoured of the Comtesse de Balbi, commissioned Tassaert to reproduce her features in the figure of Friendship. When finished, the group was placed in the Petit Luxembourg at Paris, where the Comtesse de Balbi resided. It later was transferred from Paris to Dampieres, where it remained in the Duc de Luynes family until it was acquired by Duveen Brothers and subsequently sold to the Stotesburys in 1923.

Donated by Eva Stotesbury to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1941.

Mentioned in Lami's "Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs de l'Ecole Francaise," Vol. II, page 354. In 1923, there was a small reproduction of this group in the Royal Palace of Sans Souci.

Stotesbury Location(s): Whitemarsh Hall, in the Entrance Vestibule hall

Entrance Hall

The Tassaert statue next to the grand staircase in the Entrance Vestibule.

Photo source: Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection, U.S. Library of Congress

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