Musée d'Orsay: Facing the Other: Charles Cordier (1827-1905), Ethnographic Sculptor

Facing the Other: Charles Cordier (1827-1905), Ethnographic Sculptor

Charles Cordier
 Nègre du Soudan also called Nègre en costume algérien [Negro from the Sudan, also called Negro in Algerian Costume]
 Between 1856 and 1857
 Bust in bronze and onyx with a pedestal in porphyry from the Vosges
 H. 96; W. 66; D. 36 cm
 Paris, Musée d'Orsay
Charles CordierMan from the Sudan© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / René-Gabriel Ojéda
Charles Cordier (Cambrai 1827 - Algiers 1905), a pupil of Rude, occupies a special place in French sculpture of the second half of the nineteenth century.

In 1848, the very year slavery was abolished in France, he caught visitors' attention at the Salon by exhibiting a bust of a Sudanese. Appropriating an ethnographic science then only in its beginnings, he was also remarkable for his use of polychromy in sculpture, in particular of the onyx-marble of Algeria. From his ethnographic missions in Algeria, Greece and Egypt, he brought back busts and medallions, portraits born of his encounters with the natives.


Laure de Margerie, reseracher, Musée d'Orsay Édouard Papet, curator, Musée d'Orsay.

Exhibition also presented at the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec from June 10 to September 6, 2004 and at the Dahesh Museum of Art, New York form October 12, 2004 to January 9, 2005


48/14, La revue du musée d'Orsay, issue # 18, Spring 2004
Musée d'Orsay / Réunion des musées nationaux
€ 11

Exhibition catalogue
Facing the Other: Charles Cordier (1827-1905), Ethnographic Sculptor
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

3 February - 2 May 2004
Musée d'Orsay

Median level, galleries 67 and 68

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