Bust of Eugène Delacroix - Carrier-Belleuse
Hand patinated reproduction. Mold made from a print of the original work, made by Antoine Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824 - 1887) in 1864 in bronze.
To honour the memory of Eugène Delacroix who died on 13 August 1863, the Société nationale des beaux-arts ordered a monumental bust from Carrier-Belleuse. Solemnly presented during the retrospective exhibition of Delacroix's works at the Galerie Martinet in 1864, it was the focus of tributes paid by Théophile Gautier and Alexandre Dumas.
Exhibited the following year at the Salon, critic Louis Auvray praised the living resemblance of the bust. Yet Carrier had given him a robustness far from the frail constitution of the dandy painter as Nadar had photographed him in 1858. The sculptor thus remarkably expresses Delacroix's personality and creative energy. The idea of the scarf revisits the tradition of portraits of artists shown open neck, without bringing disorder to the always neat setting of the painter. It is the iconographic model which imposed itself, taken again in particular by Jules Dalou, for the monument of Delacroix in the Luxembourg garden.
The company was not able to pay for the cast iron at Carrier-Belleuse, which had refused to be paid for the portrait. The sculptor recovered his work which was no longer shown but which the public knew by its many reductions. It was the focus of another retrospective of Delacroix's paintings at the École des beaux-arts in 1885.