Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A few male sculptures from the Paris Opera Garnier (2) Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux

This 'Spirit of Dance', a smiling young man playing music is part of the large sculpture from the main side of Opera Garnier in Paris, called 'La Danse' (The Dance), executed by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875).

It took a few years to agree on the final sculpture between the architect (Charles Garnier) and the sculptor, and to achieve it. The final result still caused much controversy due to the females nudity involved. A bottle of ink was even thrown on it one day. Some wanted the sculpture to be removed. But the war of 1870 started, and the sculptor died as well, so this put an end to the controversy.

La Danse, 1866, by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (Opera Garnier) - photo Verchere
Nowadays, the original piece is located at the Musée d'Orsay to ensure its protection from the weather, and a copy is in front of the Opera House, copy made by the French sculptor Jean Juge, and supervised by Paul Belmondo, other French sculptor.
Have a look at this interesting video about 'La Danse'

We may come back to some other Carpeaux sculptures. The Musée d'Orsay organized a major exhibition last year about his work.

Musée d'Orsay