Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux has done justice to the ravishing beauty and pert snub-nosed face of Eugénie Fiocre, a dancer at the Opera. About the same time, the dancer posed for the painters Edgar Degas and Winterhalter. Carpeaux's sense of character and his finesse in bringing out the sitter's personality can be seen in many of the busts he sculpted of his friends or contemporaries.
True to nature, he tried to make his portraits quiver with life. Their faces, realistic hair styles and the free rendering of movement are far from the stiff, cold portraits common at the time. This plaster bust, made in 1869, goes back to the 18th century tradition with its accent on presence and decorative effects. The draped cloth, the young woman's bare shoulders, the rose between her breasts and the neat head on its long, slim neck brilliantly convey her elegance and charm.