Although best known for his monumental sculptures, Bourdelle also produced a number of busts and portraits. Sir James George Frazer (1854-1941) was an eminent anthropologist, whose widely-read book The Golden Bough (1890) traced recurrent patterns in the myths and religious practices of early cultures around the world. This bust was originally painted, reflecting Bourdelle’s interest in the polychromatic sculpture of the ancient Greeks. Frazer himself wrote “I don’t know if in fact my face has all that gravity, all that philosophical profundity; but... I should be glad if after my death this portrait alone was kept and all the others destroyed’.
Antoine Bourdelle was born in Montauban, France, in 1861 and died near Paris in 1929.