This sculpture is by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, he was influenced by the Florentine sculptor Antonio Rossellino in the fifteenth century. Carpeaux must have encountered this Renaissance sculptor in the 1850s when, as recipient of the Prix de Rome, he travelled to Italy. The bust of Baroness Sipiere is more than a surface reproduction of the physical beauty and grace of a modish lady of the day: the sculptor has captured something of her inner life, the touch of good humour behind the slight smile, kindness behind the eyes. In form, too, it is a satisfying work, each nuance sensitively graded: a quality found also in Carpeaux's fine charcoal drawings. It would be unjust to say - as Epstein did - that Carpeaux modelled forms that are ''solely realistic and decorative . . . . and uninteresting.'' This sculpture is part of a large collection of works by Carpeaux belonging to a splendid Danish museum, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek in Copenhagen. The founder of this museum, Carl Jacobsen, was a notable collector in the period 1870 to 1914. He appreciated both Carpeaux and Rodin and left the Glyptothek the largest collection in his time of French sculpture outside Paris.
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