Sculpture said "chryselephantine sculpture", made in ivory and old gilded and nuanced greenish brown patina
late 19th century
height 62 cm
Albert-Ernest Carrier de Belleuse said Carrier-Belleuse (1824-1887) was one of the most prolific artists of the century and enjoyed the greatest successes under the Second Empire, enjoying the personal support of Napoleon III. His work was greatly influenced by the style of the Italian Renaissance and that of the eighteenth century, which he helped to bring up to date.
In 1837, the young Carrier-Belleuse entered apprenticeship in the chisel workshop of Bauchery. He was admitted shortly after to the goldsmith Jacques Henri Fauconnier. Through François Arago, he met the sculptor David d'Angers who facilitated his admission to the École des Beaux-Arts. Carrier-Belleuse entered it in 1840. Noted for his skill by the great bronze founders of Paris like Barbedienne and Denière, it didn't take long to receive many orders of models for candelabra, clocks, mantelpieces, etc. In 1848, probably on the initiative of François Arago, who became head of state, he received his first public commission for a small statue of "Mademoiselle Rachel singing La Marseillaise". In 1851 he appeared for the first time at the Salon des artistes français, where he presented two bronze medallions. From 1851 to 1855, Carrier-Belleuse stayed in England, in Stoke-on-Trent, where he held the position of Director of the modeling and drawing School of the Minton House, a large porcelain factory.
Back in France, Carrier-Belleuse moved to Paris in a vast workshop located at 15 rue de la Tour d'Auvergne. From 1857, he exhibited regularly in the Salon and knew the reputation thanks to the success of large marbles, as "The Bacchante" exhibited at the Salon of 1863, and acquired by Napoleon III, "Angelica" (1866) or "Hebe sleeping" (1869). At the Salon of 1867, his group entitled "The Messiah" earned him the medal of honor of sculpture. It is acquired by the State to decorate the Chapel of the Virgin in the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Church.
Carrier-Belleuse got also a great reputation for his terracotta busts which, in many respects, recalled those of the artists of the eighteenth century. He sculpted portraits of a large number of celebrities of his time. Among others, he created the busts of Napoleon III, Renan, Thiers, Grévy, Arago, Marguerite Bellanger, Théophile Gautier, Honoré Daumier, Delacroix, Hortense Schneider and Réjane. He also modeled many busts of mythological inspiration and a series of historical and artistic portraits like Mary Stuart, Shakespeare or Mozart.
Carrier-Belleuse employed and trained in his studio in the rue de la Tour d'Auvergne many young talented artists among whom we can mention Alexandre Falguière, Jules Desbois, Eugene Delaplanche, Jules Dalou or Joseph Chéret; but he was best known for having been the master of Auguste Rodin who entered as a practitioner in his workshop in 1864.
Carrier-Belleuse has devoted much of his time to decorative sculpture. He contributed to the decorations of many important buildings. He was notably responsible for the caryatids of the Renaissance theater, the pediment of the main entrance to the Bank of France, the stucco ceilings of the Lesdiguières and La Trémoïlle pavilions at the Louvre Palace, the frieze of the Palais de la Bourse in Brussels, or the decoration of the Hotel de la Païva on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. He also received state orders for monuments: that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in Montmorency, Alexandre Dumas in Villers-Cotterêts, Masséna in Nice. He realized abroad, the equestrian statue of Michael the brave in Bucharest and the tomb of José de San Martín in Buenos Aires.
In 1873, Carrier-Belleuse took part in the construction of the Paris Opera house directed by his friend Charles Garnier. He sculpted the two monumental torcheres that flank the grand staircase, in the main hall and caryatids of the fireplace of the great foyer.
In 1875, he was appointed director of works of art of the Sèvres Manufacture. He created a modern impulse with the creation of a complete range of vases.