JEAN BAPTISTE CARPEAUX (1827-1875)
Le Génie de la Danse (The Spirit of the Dance)
signed: JB. Carpeaux
white marble, on a white marble socle
-Christies march 1st 1990, Lot 121
-M. Poletti and A. Richarme, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. Sculpteur. Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre édité, Paris, 2003, p. 109, no. BU8
La Danse is an 1868 sculpture by the French artist Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. It was one of four sculptural groups made from Echaillon marble that decorate the façade of the Opera Garnier in Paris, two to either side of the entrance at ground level. The work was installed in 1869.It was transferred to the Louvre Museum in 1964 and replaced by a copy. The original was moved to the Musée d'Orsay in 1986 where it is currently exposed (As seen on the picture to the right).
This emblematic bust is one the first edition of the 1870 dance group, Carpeaux would regularly offer proofs of the bust in different mediums (Terra cotta,Marble,Plaster) in his public sales from 1871 to 1874.