Model for Roubiliac’s bust of Handel c. 1739, Foundling Museum, London
Louis-François Roubiliac (more correctly Roubillac) (1702/1705– 11 January 1762) was a French sculptor who worked in England. In the eighteenth century he was one of the four most prominent sculptors in London working in the rococo style. The terracotta model for his famous bust of Handel can be seen in the Foundling Museum, London, where it forms part of an important collection of documents and other artefacts connected to Handel.
The museum’s description of the bust is below.
This is a model for Roubiliac’s marble bust of Handel, which he executed in 1739. The marble bust was given to George III and is in Windsor Castle.
Roubiliac was born in Lyons and came to England in about 1730. He frequented Slaughter’s Coffee House on St Martin’s Lane where he is likely to have socialised with Handel and William Hogarth, as well as other prominent figures associated with the Foundling Hospital. Roubiliac created several sculptures of Handel including a life-size marble sculpture for Jonathan Tyers’ pleasure gardens at Vauxhall. In 1761, he was also responsible for the monument for Handel’s tomb in Westminster Abbey, the model for which is on display in the Handel Gallery upstairs.
If you have an interest in Handel and are visiting London the Foundling Museum is a hidden treasure and is only a short walk from the British Museum.