ALBERT CARRIER-BELLEUSE (Anizy 1824 - 1887 Sèvres)

Bust of a Young Woman

Cast and reworked terracotta on wooden socle
12 ½ inches high; 17 ¾ inches high with socle
Signed: A. CARRIER
c. 1865

Carrier-Belleuse was a masterful practitioner of the art of the portrait bust, which dominated mid-19th century French sculpture. Preferring realism to the idealization required by fashionable ladies, he depicted fewer women than men, and then focused on the demi-monde of actresses and courtesans. In these portraits he presented his female subjects as dignified and serious, quite distinct in feeling from the seductive gaiety of his fantasy subjects.

Several terracotta casts of this model are known, as well as a marble signed A.Carrier and dated 1868 (Sotheby’s London, December 10, 2002). From the outset of his career through the 1860’s, the artist used the signature A. Carrier, before changing to Carrier-Belleuse.