Musée d'Orsay: The Dance by Carpeaux

The Dance by Carpeaux

Jean-Baptiste CarpeauxDance© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Thierry Ollivier
Two scandalous pieces of the history of 19th-century sculpture, the Woman Bitten by a Snake (1847) by Clésinger and the Dance by Carpeaux (1869) are hung a few yards from one another in the Musée d'Orsay.

Carpeaux's group, previously decorating the façade of the Paris Opéra, gives a strong impression of life and of tension. The public of the time was shocked by what they considered to be an indecent piece of sculpture. Zola saw in it the Empire and the dissolute mores of the court and ruling classes.

This documentary exhibition thus recalled the importance of the Dance group near the end of the 19th century.


Laure de Margerie, archivist, Musée d'Orsay

Exhibition also presented at the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Valenciennes), from May 26 to July 9, 1989

14 February - 14 May 1989
Musée d'Orsay

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