"Carpeaux - Sculptor for the Empire" à Paris

From June 24, 2014 to September 28, 2014
  • Au musée des Beaux-Arts Jules Chéret de Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), le Triomphe de Flore par Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, version en plâtre de 1873

    Au musée des Beaux-Arts Jules Chéret de Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), le Triomphe de Flore par Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, version en plâtre de 1873

    © WikimediaCommons/Finoskov

  • A detail from a repica of "La Danse" by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux at Orsay Museum, Paris

    A detail from a repica of "La Danse" by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux at Orsay Museum, Paris

    © WikimediaCommons/Yair-haklai

  • La jeune fille à la coquille, bronze, par Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (Valenciennes 1827-Courbevoie 1875). Cette statue est le pendant,réalisé ensuite, du Pêcheur à la coquille; le visage est celui d'Anna Foucart. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Cambrai.

    La jeune fille à la coquille, bronze, par Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (Valenciennes 1827-Courbevoie 1875). Cette statue est le pendant,réalisé ensuite, du Pêcheur à la coquille; le visage est celui d'Anna Foucart. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Cambrai.

    © WikimediaCommons/Vassil

"Carpeaux - Sculptor for the Empire" à Paris rue de la Légion d'Honneur 75007 Paris fr

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, the son of a stonemason and a lace maker from Valenciennes, built an exceptional career closely linked to the “fête impériale” of Napoleon III’s reign.

Standing out vividly in the artistic milieu of his time, he was also one of the most perfect embodiments of the Romantic idea of the artist cursed by the brevity and brilliance of his career, concentrated into around fifteen years, and by the violence and the passion of an unrelenting struggle with subjects chosen or commissioned (the Pavillon de Flore in the Louvre, The Dance for Charles Garnier’s Opera).

The sculptor of smiling subjects, painter of movement, outstanding portraitist, familiar artist of the Cour des Tuileries, attentive observer of the realities of street life and also a sensitive admirer of Michelangelo, Carpeaux was constantly immersed in sombre melancholy, using broad brushstrokes from his earliest days, for the tragedy of Ugolin eating his own children, and, later, for the ghostly flashes of a religious feeling imbued with anxiety, the violence of shipwreck scenes and for sorrowful self-portraits.

The first retrospective since 1975 devoted to his works as a sculptor, painter and illustrator, this exhibition will explore the varied work of a major figure of French sculpture in the second half of the 19th century who, according to Alexandre Dumas, was “more alive than life itself”.

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