Honoré-Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau

French (Paris)
About 1791–92
After Claude-André Deseine (French, 1740–1823), Made at Duc d'Orleans Manufactory (French (Paris), 1784–1828)

Object Place: Europe, Paris, France


Overall: 81.3 × 53.3 × 38.1 cm (32 × 21 × 15 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Hard-paste biscuit porcelain; socle of hard-paste porcelain with enamel and gilded decoration

On View

Ann and William Elfers Gallery (Gallery 245)





A gifted orator, Mirabeau (1749-1791) played a pivotal role in the politics or revolutionary France and advocated the establishment of a constitutional monarchy rather than a republic. This bust is based on a plaster model commissioned by the Jacobins, his political party, after his death. Few porcelain versions were made because of the technical difficulties of firing works of this scale. This bust is remarkable for it dramatic pose and the realistic description of Mirabeau’s face, scarred by small pox.


On the base is inscribed Mirabeau's reply to the royalist M. de Breze, who ordered the members of the National Assembly to disperse: "Allez dire a ceux qui vous envoyent/ que nous sommes icy par la Volonte du peuple/ Et que nous n'en Sortirons que par la force des Bayonettes [Go tell those who send you that we are here by the will of the people and that we will only leave here by the force of bayonets]".


Signed on the socle: "Manufacture des porcelaines des sieurs Baverstock et compagnie, rue Amelot No 9, boulevard du Temple a Paris".


By 1978, with Fabius Frères Antiquaires, Paris; 1978, sold by Fabius Frères Antiquaires to the MFA. (Accession date: February 16, 1978)

Credit Line

William Francis Warden Fund