The Abduction of Hippodamia, ca. 1871
Bronze proof before 1888
Signed : " CARRIER-BELLEUSE" and titled " Enlèvement " Stamped stamp " BRONZE GUARANTEED TO THE TITLE
66 x 56 x 27 cm
Provenance : Private collection
First documented in 1871, when a terracotta version was exhibited in Brussels, L'Enlèvement d'Hippodamie is a group by Carrier-Belleuse that Rodin worked on.
In 1863, Carrier-Belleuse sold his first sculpture to Napoleon III, after having participated in the construction of the Opé- ra de Paris alongside Carpeaux and the architect Charles Garnier. From this date, he received many orders and surrounded himself with several practitioners. That same year, Rodin entered his studio and executed some of his compositions from sketches, carefully respecting the master's layouts while adding a great knowledge of anatomy.
Carrier-Belleuse takes up a theme from Greek mythology, taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses: Pirithous, king of the Lapiths, had invited the centaurs to celebrate his marriage to the beautiful Hippodamia. The drunken centaurs became uncontrollable and the centaur Eurityon tried in vain to kidnap Hippodamia. King Pirithous, assisted by Theseus, then took revenge on the Centaurs in a battle known as Centauromachy.
Linda Zoeckler and June Hargrove, scholars of Carrier-Belleuse, note similarities between the modeling of the cen- taure and that of Rodin's sculptures. Hargrove demonstrated that the centaur has the same characteristics as the boldly muscular models Rodin executed for the Titans Vase. Likewise, the centaur's howling face can be compared to the Call to Arms (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia), which Rodin made in 1878, a few years later. As for the figure of Hippodamie, it was indeed modeled by Carrier-Belleuse: its ideal form refers to the mythological figures of the sculptor.
"The perfect transition from one hand to the other shows how well Rodin had grasped the nuances of Carrier's touch. 1"
This bronze, with the stamp "BRONZE GARANTI AU TITRE", was cast before 1888, when the Pinedo foundry obtained the casting rights.
Several examples in plaster, terracotta and marble are listed. Three bronze examples are kept in American public collections: in the National Gallery in Washington, the Cincinnati Museum and the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami.
- Ruth Butler, Suzanne Glover Lindsay, European sculpture of the nineteenth century, Washington, National Gal- lery of Art, 2000, repr. (another copy) p. 165.
- June Ellen Hargrove, Gilles Grandjean, Carrier-Belleuse: le maître de Rodin, cat. exp., Compiègne, Palais de Compiègne, (April 22-October 27, 2014), Paris, Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais, 2014, p. 112.
1. June Ellen Hargrove, Gilles Grandjean, Carrier-Belleuse: le maître de Rodin, cat. exp., Compiègne, Palais de Compiègne (April 22-October 27, 2014), Paris, Éditions de la Réunions des musées nationaux - Grand Palais, 2014, p. 112.