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Huge Bust by Carpeaux*

Item Description

“Why born a Slave” is the title of this powerfully dramatic and very large bust of an African woman.  Sculpted by the renowned French artist Jean Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-75) who, two years before his untimely death, was awarded the Legion d’Honeur.

Carpeaux was ahead of his time in that, like the Art Nouveau artists who followed him, he discarded the classical restrictions of his predecessors and sculpted with the freedom of new and original thinking.

This amazing looking woman has such a wonderfully strong face despite the ropes that so uncompromisingly bind her. There is a lovely aged patina to the finish of the hollow painted gypsum.

Date first sculpted was 1873 but it is possible that these continued to be produced in small numbers for several years after.  The height of this impressive piece is approximately 62 cm.

Ref: 12047

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