Antoine Coysevox (spelled Coyzevox by himself) follows in this path. His work appealed the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture which warmly welcomed his two pieces of reception, the busts of Le Brun and Colbert in white marble.
Colbert was one of the most outstanding and influential ministers in French history and the protector of all the Académies. Le Brun was the referent for the arts with the title of premier peintre du roi. They are pleased with their figures made by Coysevox. With such a reference, his career was launched.
That 71 cm high Colbert bust carved in 1677 in a beautiful marble probably from Carrara was immediately offered by the Académie to the statesman. The expressive and caring figure, remarkably realistic, breaks with the tradition of such sculptures that had been previously mostly inspired by funeral monuments. The importance of the personality is reflected in the decoration of the Ordre du Saint-Esprit through his jacket.
This marble remained in the family of Colbert. It was classified French national treasure in 1937, which is banning its export but does not prevent it to remain in private hands. It will be sold on November 12 in Paris by Leclere as the single lot of this auctioneer in a co-operative sale at the Hôtel Drouot (lot 46 in that sale).