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Bust of a Woman

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.

Date:

1851

Artist:

Charles Henri Joseph Cordier (French, 1827–1905)
Cast by Eck et Durand Fondeur (French, 19th century)

About this artwork

This fictionalized portrayal is a companion piece to the Bust of Saïd Abdullah. Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier initially titled this stylized and highly detailed sculpture Vénus africaine (African Venus), thus conflating the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty with his rendering of a Black woman. Her parted lips and bare shoulders and chest evoke the erotic associations of her former namesake deity, while the draping of her costume suggests Classical refinement.

In 1851 the anthropological gallery of the National History Museum in Paris commissioned casts of this work and the likeness of Abdullah. Cordier’s ethnographic busts reflect mid-19th-century discourse on aesthetics and colonization as well as pseudoscientific theories of race.

Status

On View, Gallery 223

Department

Painting and Sculpture of Europe

Artist

Charles Henri Joseph Cordier

Title

Bust of a Woman

Place

France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1851

Medium

Bronze

Inscriptions

Inscribed and dated: 1851 / CCORDIER

Dimensions

71.5 × 40.6 × 29.2 cm (28 3/16 × 16 × 11 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Ada Turnbull Hertle Fund

Reference Number

1963.840

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/18754/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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