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The Abduction of Hippodamie

The Abduction of Hippodamie

Artist: Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (French, 1824–1887)
Culture: French
Date: late 19th century
Medium: Bronze
Dimensions:
25 x 21 x 11 inches (63.5 x 53.3 x 27.9 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Label Text:Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse was a prolific French sculptor whose work became especially well known through the mass production of small-scale sculpture. Initially trained as a goldsmith, he produced designs for English ceramic manufacturers such as Minton, Wedgewood, and Brownfield early in his career, and was later appointed artistic director of the Sévres porcelain manufactory outside of Paris. In balance with his commercial interests, Carrier-Belleuse was successful and respected in the French Academic Salon and trained the best of the next generation of sculptors such as Auguste Rodin and Aimé-Jules Dalou.

Carrier-Belleuse’s work demonstrates a lively neo-Baroque exuberance manifest here in a twisting dynamic composition. Illustrating an episode from Greek myth, a centaur snatches the bride Hippodameia at her wedding, setting off an epic battle between the Lapiths and the centaurs. The overly defined musculature of the centaur contrasts strongly with the lithe body of the struggling maiden, stressing the centaur’s inhuman bestiality. The young Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), in the studio when this work was produced, may have contributed to it as well since the exaggerated expression of the bellowing centaur and excessive musculature are more typical of Rodin’s work than that of Carrier-Belleuse.





Provenance: Purchase December 14, 2001 through (Sotheby's London, lot 145) by Duke University Museum of Art, now Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Object number: 2001.43.1