Carpeaux, Jean Baptiste

Carpeaux, Jean Baptiste


Born May 11, 1827, in Valenciennes; died Oct. 11, 1875, in Counbevoie. French sculptor, painter, and graphic artist.

In 1844, Carpeaux began studying at F. Rude’s studio in Paris. In 1848 he became a student under J. Duret at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. His works include the spiritually tragic sculptural group Ugolino (bronze, 1857–60, the Louvre, Paris), the decorative and festive high reliefs The Triumph of Flora (plaster of paris, 1863–66, facade of the Pavilon de Flore, Tuileries, Paris) and The Dance (stone, 1865–69, facade of the Paris Opera, Paris), and the sculptural group Four Parts of the World (bronze, 1867–72, in the fountain in the Luxembourg Gardens, Paris).

Carpeaux’s works, such as Fisher-girl (terra-cotta, 1871, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow), are distinguished by dynamic forms, influenced by 18th-century sculpture. There is a fanciful play of light and shade, and the figures are sensual and graceful; at the same time, they occasionally display some of the pretentiousness of salon art. Carpeaux is also well known as a sculptor of numerous portrait busts.


Clément-Carpeaux, L. La Vérité sur l’oeuvre et la vie de Jean-BaptisteCarpeaux (1827–1875), vols. 1–2. Paris, 1935.