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Jean Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875)

Do you think you may own a painting by Jean Baptiste Carpeaux? We perform art authentications, art appraisals, art research and provide Certificates of Authenticity (COA) as well as consultations, for all paintings by Jean Baptiste Carpeaux.

La Danza

Bust of Nadine Dumas

Jean Baptiste Carpeaux was a French Realist sculptor and painter. He was said to have been the leading French sculptor of his time, and that his work created a new variety of Romantic Classicism. Carpeaux was the son of a brick layer, and as a young man, he worked as a messenger. He moved to Paris in 1838 and studied at the Petite Ecole at the age of 11. In 1848, he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he studied under Romantic sculptor Francois Rude. He won the Prix de Rome in 1854, which allowed him to travel to Italy. There, Carpeaux was able to study the works of Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo.

Bacchante with Roses 1869



Though he became a talented sculptor, specializing in busts and statues of mythological figures, he also created a number of paintings and sketches.

Portrait of an Old Woman

Start of the Race of the Barbieri Horses, Rome 1860

Study Sketch

In 1860, he created his sculpture "Ugolino and his Sons," which was unlike that of most other classical sculpture of its day. It emphasized extreme emotion and physical states, which was a direct contrast to the calmness of classical sculpture. This piece catapulted Carpeaux into being the foremost sculptor of his time.

Ugolino and his Sons

Carpeaux returned to Paris in 1862, and resumed creating busts; but this time it was for famous clients such as Napoleon. It is said that his use of deep shadow was an influence on the young Rodin, who would become one of the most famous sculptors of all time. Today his work is housed all over the world including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, as well as the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. Still wondering about a bust or statue in your family estate? Contact could be by Jean Baptiste Carpeaux.