CARRIER-BELLEUSE, Albert-Ernest
(b. 1824, Anizy-le-Château, d. 1887, Sèvres)

Biography

French sculptor and painter, the father of Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse, painter and sculptor. He began his training as a goldsmith's apprentice. In 1840 Pierre-Jean David d'Angers sponsored him for the École des Beaux-Arts. He stayed only briefly, moving to the Petite École to study decorative arts instead. Between 1850 and 1855, Carrier-Belleuse worked in England, designing ceramics and metalwork models for companies like Wedgwood. From 1857 he exhibited large-scale sculptures at the Salon, where he garnered medals and commissions from important patrons. Emperor Napoléon III employed him in public projects during the massive rebuilding of Paris from 1851 to 1870.

Carrier-Belleuse made many terracotta pieces, but possibly the most famous is The Abduction of Hippodameia depicting the Greek mythological scene of a centaur kidnapping Hippodameia on her wedding day.

He painted many portraits and landscapes on the Côte d'Opale, northern sea-borders facing England, chiefly in the village of Audresselles.

Carrier-Belleuse had a sharp sense of how to combine historical elements with new technologies and the process of mass production. In his workshop, students like Auguste Rodin, who worked as an assistant in between 1864 and 1870, learned the value of series, editions, and variations made alongside unique, monumental Salon submissions.