Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse French, 1824-1887
- Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse
- Jeune fille (a bust of a young girl with flowers in her hair)
- signed: A. CARRIER-BELLEUSE
- terracotta, on an ebonised wood socle
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
As Larson discusses (see his essay in this catalogue), this bust of a child is a consummate illustration of Carrier-Belleuse's understanding of the technique and style of eighteenth-century sculptors. The comparision with Jean-Antoine Houdon's bust of Louis Brongniart is prescient as both busts capture the innocence and beauty of childhood. Carrier-Belleuse diverges from Houdon's composition in the addition of the garland of flowers in the young girl's hair. This touch infuses the bust with a sense of romance and otherwordliness.
Larson also highlights this particular bust for retaining an original paint surface, more specifically "a fine wash of terracotta coloured gouache (a watercolour reinforced with body colour and gum) to impart a soft pastel delicacy to the surface of the sculpture." On many of Carrier-Belleuse's terracotta this goache has been mistakenly stripped with the layers of dirt by restoration. Carrier-Belleuse sold a bust entitled Jeune Fille in his sale of 1883 and 1887, whether or not this reference refers to the present terracotta, however, cannot be confirmed.
Lami, vol. 1, p. 284