Lot 39
  • 39

Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse
  • L'Amazone Captive (The Captive Amazon)
  • signed and dated: A. CARRIER 1866
  • white marble

Catalogue Note

This sensuous nude is a rare marble version of a model known primarily in bronze and terracotta. It follows the sale of a larger marble, also dated 1866, in these rooms on 25 May 2016 (lot 16), which may have represented Carrier's prime version of the Amazone

By representing an Amazon, one of the legendary female warriors from antiquity, as helpless and unclothed, chained to a tree and surrounded by what seem to be the remnants of her armour, Carrier-Belleuse arguably broke new iconographic ground. The woman’s voluptuous nudity and her vulnerable, imploring gaze form a stark contrast to the Amazons’ reputation as fierce fighters, lending a titillating eroticism to the composition. As Hargrove has noted, in this model Carrier 'transformed his eclectic sources into a thoroughly nineteenth-century configuration.' Hargrove further comments that the Amazone's pose may have been derived from Augustin Pajou’s Psyche of 1790, but that Carrier-Belleuse 'added a mannered lushness to Pajou’s idea.' The contorted arrangement of the Amazone’s body and the abundant braid of hair that falls onto her shoulder epitomise the luxuriance of Belle-Époque sensuality.

J. Hargrove, The Life and Work of Albert Carrier-Belleuse, New York and London, 1977, p. 233