La Negresse Plaster Bust Sculpture After Jean Baptiste Carpeaux
This exceptional plaster bust by F. Carli, after Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875) is entitled La Negresse. The subject represents Africa and comes from the artist's Four Parts of the World Sustaining the Globe, a group sculpture serving as the central element of the Observatory in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. The fountain was inaugurated in 1874, but as early as 1872 Carpeaux created terracotta busts of the figures from the fountain sculpture, and one or more are known to have been exhibited at the Paris salon of 1872. An original cast by Carpeaux resides in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which carries the inscription "Pourquoi! Naitre esclave! (Why born a slave?!). Measures approximate 14" tall. Condition is good. There are a few small losses, and scratches and surface dirt which is consistent with age.