Bust of Velázquez

Maker and role
Artist: Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, French, 1824-1887
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Object detail

Terra cotta
height, 21 7/8in (55.6cm)
Credit line
Gift of William Jordan in memory of Blanche and John Palmer Leeper
Accession number
Object type
Further information
The bust of the great Spanish painting Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse demonstrates the 19th century revival of terra cotta sculpture under the inspiration of 18th century masters of the medium. Carrier-Belleuse, one of the most prolific sculptors of the era, fully exploits the liveliness of modeling and contrasts a variety of textures, both made possible by the medium. Admiration for spontaneity of expression in sculpture was mirrored by the development of Impressionism in painting. The choice of Velázquez as a subject reflects the French love affair with Spanish painting for its realism and bravura brushwork during the 19th century.


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