- France, 1873
- Inv. 104
In the summer of 1873, Carpeaux spent several weeks on holiday with his wife and son Charles at the house of Alexandre Dumas (fils) in Puys, near Dieppe. The idea for this work came to him when the child, after hurting his arm, smiled at him through tears.
Executed in marble and exhibited at the following year’s Salon (1874), the work was a success with both the public and the critics, combining the tragic ingredients beloved of bourgeois taste with exceptional technical skill, resulting in the creation of two additional marble replicas during the artist’s lifetime.
The example held by the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, which the artist kept until his death and was then bought by the collector at the Atelier Carpeaux sale in 1913, is a very interesting piece from a technical point of view since the armature and connecting elements, which are inherent in its function as a chef modèle, are visible.
Carpeaux Collection. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian, through Graat, J.-B. Carpeaux sale, Manzi Gallery, Paris, 30 May 1913 (lot 6).
Stanislas Lami, Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs de l’Ecole Française au Dix-Neuvième Siècle. Tome premier, A-C. Paris, 1914.
Sur les traces de Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, exhibition catalogue. Paris: 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. Calais: Musée des beaux-arts de Calais, 1982.
Anne Middleton Wagner, Jean-Baptiste Carpeux. Sculptor of the Second Empire. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1986.
Claude Jeancolas, Carpeaux, Sculpteur et Peintre. Lausanne: Edita, 1987.
Maria Rosa Figueiredo, French Sculpture. Catalogue of European Sculpture, vol. I. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 1992, pp. 164–70.
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.