Anisy-le-Château, Aisne 1824 - Sèvres, Hauts-de-Seine 1887
Bust of Bacchante
1860s or later
Dimensions (HxWxD): H. without base: 19 7⁄8 in.
signed across back of the truncation: A. Carrier
Acc. No.: 73.178
Credit Line: Museum purchase with funds provided by the Francis Coates Memorial Fund
Photo credit: MFA, Houston, 2013
- 1973, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Francis Coates Memorial Fund
- 1981 Agee
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. A Guide to the Collection, Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, 1981, p. 103 no. 179, repr., entry by John Minor Wisdom, Jr.
- 1981 Agee, p. 103 no. 179, entry by John Minor Wisdom, Jr.:
[...] Much of Carrier-Belleuse's work recalls the eighteenth century. Bust of a Bacchante, which echoes of Clodion, is no exception. Whereas the elements of the sculptor's personal modeling are visible in the finished, but sketch-like, terra-cotta version of the bust, the marble version is smoother and more idealized. It lacks the warm, sensuous character of the hand-modeled terra cotta. To some extent such variations emphasize the difference between building up forms in easily modeled clay (terra cotta is baked clay) and cutting them away in less tractable marble. Also involved is the nature of Carrier-Belleuse's personal sensibility, for as Rodin remarked, "Carrier-Belleuse's sketches were admirable, in finished execution everything turned cold".
Bust of a Bacchante reflects the sculptor's style in the 1860's, and there is no reason to doubt such a date for the terra-cotta version. However, another marble version, signed and dated 1872, was in the possession of the Black-Nadeau Gallery, Monte Carlo. It is unclear whether the Museum's marble was executed in the 1860's, when the model was conceived, or later, like the Monte Carlo example.