Inspired by the high relief executed, at the request of the architect Lefuel, for the Pavillon de Flore, in the Palais du Louvre, which had as its theme ‘The Triumph of Flora’, Carpeaux later made a single figure, which he called ‘Spring’.
Modifying the attitude and the movement of his previous creation, the new Flora, is crouching, adorning her hair with flowers, her lips twitching in a smile that immediately enchanted the public. The face and smile are those of Anne Foucart, the daughter of Carpeaux’s great friend, Jean-Baptiste Foucart.
This human-scale version was executed in 1873, when Carpeaux was living in London, where he had taken refuge after the fall of the Second Empire. It was commissioned by a great lover of art, by the name of Turner. Carpeaux also did portrait busts of Mr and Mrs Turner at the same period.
Henry James Turner Collection, 1873; E. Cronier Collection, until 1905. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian, through Graat, at E. the sale of the Cronier’s Estate, Georges Petit Gallery, Paris, 4 December 1905 (lot 121).
H. 97 cm; W. 65 cm; D. 60 cm
Maria Rosa Figueiredo, French Sculpture. Catalogue of European Sculpture, vol. I. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 1992, pp. 154–9.
Katharine Baetjer and James David Draper (eds.), 'Only the Best'. Masterpieces of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, exhibition catalogue. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999, p. 130–1, cat. 62.
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2001, p. 164, cat. 140.
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