François-Rupert Carabin
Art Criticism

Art Criticism
François-Rupert Carabin (1862-1932)
Art Criticism
Circa 1896
Polychrome wax
H. 21; W. 9.3; D. 8.7 cm
© Musée d'Orsay, dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt


Art Criticism
Art Criticism
Art Criticism

La Critique artistique [Art Criticism]


This wax humorously evokes the links between creation and criticism in the second half of the 19th century in the form of an allegory. With her back arched, her red hair drawn back into a chignon and held in place by a kind of vine leaf from which two curls escape, a young woman holds, in her left hand, a green pen as big as herself. In her right hand, placed on her hip, she holds a pair of binoculars. She stands upright, with bare feet, on some scattered newspapers. Sure of herself, arrogant even, this small idol seems to be waiting for artists to come and bow down before her.

Art Criticism bears a resemblance to another work by Carabin, Glory (1896, a vide-poches in boxwood, private collection), a tribute to the popular singer Polaire (1874-1939), whose portrait Toulouse-Lautrec executed in 1906. These two objects are in fact dedicated to the critic Roger Marx (1859-1913) who, through his articles as an art historian and in his position at the heart of the Beaux-Arts administration, fought for the recognition of the decorative arts.


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