FRÉMIET, Emmanuel
(b. 1824, Paris, d. 1910, Paris)

Female Gorilla Carrying off a Negress (destroyed)

Musée d'Orsay, Paris

In 1859 Frémiet caused a stir with his Female Gorilla Carrying off a Negress, a new edition of which was produced in 1887. Thanks to the support of Count de Nieuwerkerke, the piece was shown behind a curtain, which guaranteed instant celebrity, but it was later destroyed by malicious hands. Apart from the incongruity of the subject, which was further underlined by the almost lifelike treatment of the fur, surely the scandal was partly due to the fact that the triumphant animal had supplanted man.

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