By Jennifer Gordon Lovett
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux played a transitional role in the history of French sculpture during the Second Empire (1851-70). Although he was the product of traditional academic education, Carpeaux had an extremely expressive style that defied many of the accepted conventions of his time and emerged as a highly energetic realism that anticipated the works of the next generation, especially the art of Auguste Rodin. The unofficial favorite of Emperor Napoléon III, Carpeaux was awarded several important state commissions; he saw great commercial success and capitalized on the fame of his often controversial monuments. Yet, in spite of his commercial success, Carpeaux never compromised his search for a personal aesthetic, a sculptural style based on a new formal criteria distinct from the traditional academic method.
48 pages, 9 x 10 inches
2 color and 43 black-and-white illustrations
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