Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875)

Lot 59
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Estimation :
60000 - 80000 EUR
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Result : 512 624EUR
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875)
Crouching Flora Sculpture in white marble Signed " JBte Carpeaux " on the terrace H.105 cm Provenance : Great aristocratic collection around 1900 ; by descent. Related works: -Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Le Triomphe de Flore, 1865-1866, Paris, Musée du Louvre, south façade of the Pavillon de Flore; -Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Le Printemps dit Flore accroupie, marble, signed "JBt Carpeaux" and inscribed "BOUDET. PARIS", H. 104.2 x W. 56.4 x D. 69.4 cm, Valenciennes, Musée des beaux-arts, inv. S.Y.123 ; -Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Flore, 1873, marble, signed "J. Bte Carpeaux London 1873", H. 97 x W. 65 x D. 60 cm, Lisbon, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, inv. 562. Related literature: -Michel Poletti, Alain Richarme, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, sculpteur. Catalog raisonné de l'œuvre édité, Paris, Les Expressions contemporaines, 2003, model listed under n°SE 9, p. 86 ; -Edouard Papet, James David Drapper, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875), un sculpteur pour l'empire, cat. exp. Paris, Musée d'Orsay, 24 June-28 September 2014, Paris, Gallimard, 2014; -Victor Beyer, Sur les traces de Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, cat. exp. Paris, Grand Palais, March 11-May 5, 1975, Paris, Éditions des Musées nationaux, 1975, pp. In 1861 the emperor Napoleon III appointed the architect Hector Lefuel to rebuild the Pavillon de Flore of the Louvre Palace. The architect chose Jules Cavelier and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux for the sculpture program that would adorn the façades. The sculptor from Valenciennes was awarded the design and execution of two important groups, La France Impériale carrying light into the world and protecting science and agriculture, and Flore au milieu des génies du printemps et des jardins. Relations between Carpeaux and Lefuel were strained and the sculptor refused to modify his project for the group of Flora which, according to the architect, did not fit properly into the alignment of the building. The emperor had the last word and, invited to see Carpeaux's group in situ, declared "It is really the triumph of Flora", thus giving the work its current title. The Triumph of Flora was admired almost unanimously by the sculptor's contemporaries and for some critics it was an absolute masterpiece that surpassed the Dance or Ugolin. The relief will be the subject of an edition in terracotta and the figure of Flora crouching, isolated, of translations in marble, bronze and terracotta. If the marble copies of small dimensions (heights 50, 38 and 22 cm) are quite common, there are, to our knowledge, only four large versions of 105 cm. Carpeaux himself executed an autograph version in London in 1873, which is now preserved in the Calouste Gulbekian Museum. The Valencienne Museum of Fine Arts preserves a fine example in this size cut by the publisher Boudet at the end of the 19th century, and it is the Susse firm which, at the request of the sculptor's family, probably produced two other examples between 1911 and 1914 or between 1929 and 1932. From family tradition, our marble would have entered the collection of the ascendants of the current owner in the years 1910.
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