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