About This Artwork

Jean Baptiste Carpeaux
French, 1827-1875

Allegory of Agriculture, 1865

Plaster
26 x 37 cm (10 1/4 x 14 1/2 in.)
Signed right base: Bte Carpeaux

Ada Turnbull Hertle Endowment, 1957.247

In 1863 Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux received a major commission for the pedimental sculpture on the south side of the Pavillon de Flore at the Musée du Louvre, Paris. For this monumental work, he designed three allegorical figures of France seated on an imperial eagle (a reference to the Emperor Napoleon III), flanked by semi-recumbent nude males representing science and agriculture. These plasters demonstrate Carpeaux’s initial conception as it was presented to the commissioning architect; they also reflect his close study of the sculpture of Michelangelo.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, Petit Palais, "J. B. Carpeaux, 1827–1875," 1955-1956, no. 89.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "The Romantics to Rodin: French Nineteenth-Century Sculpture from American Collections," 28 February – 25 May 1980, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 25 June – 21 September 1980, Detroit Institute of Arts, 27 October 1980 – 4 January 1981, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, 22 February – 29 April 1981, nos. 36-38.

Publication History

Ernest Chesneau, Le Statuaire J.–B. Carpeaux: sa vie et son oeuvre (Paris, 1880), pp. 102–08.

Paul Vitry, Carpeaux (Paris, 1912), pp. 67-68.

“Sur des ventes: Atelier Carpeaux,” Gazette de l’hôtel Drouot 130 (December 10, 1913), p. 1.

André M. de Poncheville, Carpeaux (Paris, 1925), pp. 75–78.

Christiane Aulanier, Le Pavillon de flore, Histoire du palais et du musée du louvre 10 (Paris, 1971), p. 85, fig. 93.

Paris, Grand Palais, Sur le traces de Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1975), nos. 251-53.

Nice, Galerie des Ponchettes, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, 1827–1875: sculptures, peintures, dessins (1980), no. 28.

Musée d’Orsay, Catalogue sommaire illustré des sculptures (Paris, 1986), pp. 80–81.

Claude Jeancolas, Carpeaux: La Farouche volonté d’être (Lausanne, 1987), pp. 85–87 (ill.).

Michel Poletti and Alain Richarme, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, scupltuer: catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre édité (Paris, 2003), p. 162.

Ownership History

Commissioned by H. Lefuel for the south facade of the Pavillon de Flore, Tuileries Palace, Paris, 1863; models completed 1865 and in Carpeaux's studio until 1913; sold, the artist's atelier sale, Galerie Manzi-Joyant, 15 rue de la Ville-l'Éveque, Paris, December 8-9, 1913, lot 106, to Nelson for 2000 francs [according to Gazette de l'Hotel Drouot]. Consigned to Gallery Hector Brame, Paris, September 1955 [according to letter from Sylvie Brame to Brandon Ruud, November 24, 2004, copy in curatorial file; see also 1955-56 Paris exh. cat.]; sold by Hector Brame and César de Hauke to the Art Institute, 1957.




View mobile website