Portrait of Bruno Chérier
The painter Bruno Chérier, who, like Carpeaux, was from Valenciennes, maintained what would prove to be a solid friendship with the sculptor, particularly during the more difficult phases of the latter’s life. While Chérier painted Carpeaux’s portrait, the sculptor modelled this bust of his friend (inscribed “Souvenir fraternel offert à mon vieil ami Bruno Chérier, peintre. – Son compatriote: J.-B. Carpeaux, 1875”), which was met with great enthusiasm at the 1875 Salon. By sculpting his great friend in a totally informal situation, Carpeaux was able to show his abilities as a portraitist. He worked the main features of his face with great freedom, creating realistic effects and leaving signs of his individual technique, above all in the form of finger marks, but also through evidence of the tools that he used.
At the Atelier Carpeaux sale, Calouste Gulbenkian acquired the plaster original of this bust, which was the basis for the other versions in plaster and bronze.
J. B. Carpeaux Sale. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian, through Graat, at the Carpeaux Sale, Paris, 30 May 1913 (lot 47).
H. 62 cm; W. 32 cm; D. 27 cm
Stanislas Lami – Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs de l’École Française au Dix-Neuvième Siècle. Tome premier, A-C. Paris, 1914.
Sur les traces de Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, (exhibition catalogue). Paris : Éditions des Musées nationaux, Grand Palais, 1975.
De Carpeaux à Matisse. La Sculpture Française de 1850 à 1914 dans les musées et les collections publiques du Nord de la France, (exhibition catalogue). Lille : Musée des beaux-arts de Calais, 1982.
Anne Middleton Wagner – Jean-Baptiste Carpeux. Sculptor of the Second Empire. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1986.
Claude Jeancolas – Carpeaux, Sculpteur et Peintre. Lausanne : Edita, 1987.
Maria Rosa Figueiredo – A Escultura Francesa. Catálogo de Escultura Europeia. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 1992, vol. I, p. 160-63.
Poletti and Richarme 2003
Michel Poletti and Alain Richarme – Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux Sculpteur. Catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre édité. Angers : Les Editions de l’Amateur, 2003.