Gallery Text

Vaillant made the internal mechanism for this clock and signed the face of its dial. The case, manufactured after another artist’s design, features one of the Moirai (Fates) from Greek mythology: Clotho, who spins the thread of life. This neoclassical depiction of the deity, shown crossing her legs and turning to the right, derives from Italian baroque examples. The natural elements in the rest of the iconography unite the theme of time with the cycle of life. A clock with this identical case, with a movement by a different clockmaker, once graced the bedroom of Napoleon’s son, the king of Rome, and is currently housed in the Élysée Palace in Paris. A variant of this case by another artist was also produced in blue-and-white ceramic, with gilded bronze details.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
2011.73
People
Louis-Jacques Vaillant, French (d. c. 1820)
Case by Unidentified Artist
Title
Mantel Clock with the Figure of Clotho
Classification
Timepieces
Work Type
clock
Date
c. 1810
Places
Creation Place: Europe, France, Paris
Culture
French
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/336333
Location
Level 2, Room 2220, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, Rococo and Neoclassicism in the Eighteenth Century
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Patinated bronze with gilded mounts
Dimensions
43.2 x 29.2 x 12.7 cm (17 x 11 1/2 x 5 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: on dial: Vaillant à Paris
Provenance
Daniel P. S. Paul, Miami Florida, (by 1980 - 2010) bequest; to Harvard Art Museums 2010.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Dan Paul
Accession Year
2011
Object Number
2011.73
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Mantel clock crowned by a figure of Clotho seated on a fountain with a dog by her side.
Exhibition History

Recent Acquisitions, Part II: Building the Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/19/2012 - 09/29/2012

32Q: 2220 18th-19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu