Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (May 11, 1827, ValenciennesOctober 12, 1875, Courbevoie) was a French sculptor and painter. His La Danse (The Dance), for the Opera Garnier, heavily criticized as being indecent

His early studies were under François Rude. Carpeaux won the Prix de Rome in 1854, and moving to Rome to find inspiration, he there studied the works of Michelangelo, Donatello and Verrocchio. Staying in Rome from 1854 to 1861, he obtained a taste for movement and spontaneity, which he joined with the great principles of baroque art. In 1861 he made a bust of Princess Mathilde, and this later brought him several commissions from Napoleon III. He worked at the pavilion of Flora, and the Opéra Garnier. His group La Danse (the Dance, 1869), situated on the right side of the façade, was criticised as an offence to common decency.

He never managed to finish his last work, the famous Fountain of the Four Parts of the Earth, on the Place Camille Jullian. He did finish the terrestrial globe, supported by the four figures of Asia, Europe, America and Africa, and it was Emmanuel Frémiet who completed the work by adding the eight leaping horses, the tortoises and the dolphins of the basin.




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