CARPEAUX, Jean-Baptiste
(b. 1827, Valenciennes, d. 1875, Courbevoie)


Original plaster, height 232 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Carpeaux shared with his assistants Armand and Bernaerts the work of carving the Dance for the Opéra from a half-sized model, now in the Musée d'Orsay.

When the façade of the Opéra was unveiled in July 1869, Dance caused a scandal. In the number of its figures, their powerful nudity, and their movement, Dance did indeed form a striking contrast to the other three groups, Lyric Drama by Perreaud, Instrumental Music by Guillaume, and Harmony by Jouffroy, which were all quietly organised around the dominant figure of an inspiring genius, flanked on either side by three other figures.

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