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Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux

Born: Valenciennes, 11 May 1827
Died: Courbevoie, 11 October 1875
Nationality: French

son of a lace-maker and a bricklayer


with François Rude and Joseph Duret at Ecole des Beaux-Arts (Paris); French Academy in Rome


1854 – Hector Imploring the Gods to Save his Son Astanyax wins Prix de Rome (Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris); contributes regularly to Paris Salon

1862 – Napoleon III overturns rejection of Imperial France Bringing Enlightenment to the World and Protecting Science and Agriculture for Pavillon de Flore at the Louvre  (in situ)

1864 –appointed drawing-master to Eugène-Louis-Jean-Joseph Bonaparte, Prince Imperial

1865 – The Dance commissioned for façade of Charles Garnier’s Opéra (Paris)

1869 – public opinion forces Garnier to remove Carpeaux’s The Dance from the Opéra on grounds of obscenity (later replaced)

1871-73 – exile in London after the fall of the Second Empire (1870)  


Rome (1854-62); London (1871-73)

Commissions from: 

from: Napoleon III and Eugénie (Emperor and Empress of France)

Important Artworks: 

Fisherboy Listening to a Seashell, 1857 (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Valenciennes)

The Dance, 1866 (Paris Opéra; plaster in Musée d’Orsay, Paris)

Spirit of the Dance, 1873. Terracotta (Portland Art Museum, Oregon)

Web Resources

Metmuseum: Carpeaux