Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse French, 1824 - 1887
- Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse
- L'enlèvement d'Hippodamie
- signed CARRIER-BELLEUSE and titled L'ENLÈVEMENT
- bronze, brown patina with green hue
- height 26 in.
- 66 cm
June Hargrove, The Life and Work of Albert Carrier-Belleuse, New York and London, 1977, pp. 257-8, illustrated pl. 244
P. Fusco and H. Janson, The Romantics to Rodin, exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1980, pp. 164-6, no. 50
Carrier-Belleuse, Le Maître de Rodin, exh. cat., Grand Palais de Compiègne, May 22-27, 2014, illustrated fig. 27
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In Fusco and Janson's seminal 1980 catalogue The Romantics to Rodin, June Hargrove speculates that Carrier-Belleuse's L'enlèvement d'Hippodamie was in fact partially modelled by the young Auguste Rodin. Rodin worked in Carrier-Belleuse's Brussels studio from 1864 to 1871 and the present model was conceived in the final year of his employment. This theory is reinforced by a catalogue entry for the National Gallery of Art's identical model in their permanent collection (bequest of William Nelson Cromwell fund, INV. 1977.58.1).
The narrative is reflected in the materiality of the sculpture: Carrier-Belleuse’s gentle, smooth surfaces and the sensuous pose of his female nude lay in stark contrast to the bulky musculature and brute strength of the centaur, possibly by Rodin. The difference in handling was not only employed to heighten the contrast between female and male, civility and bestiality, but also suggests that the model was a collaborative work. There are strong similarities between the impressionistic and powerful figure of the centaur Eurityon and Rodin’s later production of the four figures for his Vase des Titans, which was created from designs by his master, and bears Carrier-Belleuse’s signature.