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RODIN, Auguste


Paris 1840 - Meudon, Hauts-de-Seine 1917

CARRIER-BELLEUSE, Albert-Ernest

Anisy-le-Château, Aisne 1824 - Sèvres, Hauts-de-Seine 1887

L'Enlèvement d'Hippodamie

The Abduction of Hippodamia

model 1877-1879, cast after 1877

bronze

equestrian statue(tte)

Dimensions (HxWxD): 25 12 x 21 78 x 11 12 in.

incised in model beside urn on self-base and enhanced after casting: CaRRIER-BEllEUSE (mixed block and cursive characters)
embossed in the model, on title plaque on self-base: L'ENLEVEMENT
foundry mark cold-stamped on self-base beneath rear left hoof: BRONZE GARANTI AU TITRE
nearby, cold-stamped: n

Acc. No.: 1977.58.1

Credit Line: William Nelson Cromwell Fund

Photo credit: Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

© Artist : public domain


Provenance

  • Paris, Private collection
  • c. 1976, purchased by Michael Hall Fine Arts, New York
  • 1977, 31 October, purchased by the NGA, William Nelson Cromwell Fund

Bibliography

  • Museum's website, 9 March 2012
  • 1980 Hargrove
    June Hargrove, "Abduction of Hippodamie (L'Enlèvement)." In The Romantics to Rodin: French Nineteenth-Century Sculpture from North American Collections. Peter Fusco and H.W. Janson, eds. Exh. cat. 5 venues. New York, 1980: 164-166, repro.
  • 1994 NGA Sculpture Catalogue
    Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1994, p. 43, repro.
  • 2000 Butler and Lindsay
    Ruth Butler, and Suzanne Glover Lindsay, with Alison Luchs, Douglas Lewis, Cynthia J. Mills, and Jeffrey Weidman. European Sculpture of the Nineteenth Century. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 2000, p. 81-86, color repr.
  • 2007 Le Normand-Romain (français)
    Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, avec la collaboration d'Hélène Marraud et Diane Tytgat, introductions par Dr. Ruth Butler et Mr. Régis Cusinberche, Rodin et le bronze. Catalogue des œuvres conservées au musée Rodin, 2 volumes, Paris, Musée Rodin / Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 2007, œuvre absente de ce catalogue
  • 2007 Le Normand-Romain (English)
    Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, with the collaboration of Hélène Marraud and Diane Tytgat, introductions by Dr. Ruth Butler and Mr. Régis Cusinberche, The Bronzes of Rodin. Catalogue of works in the Musée Rodin, 2 volumes, English version, Paris, Musée Rodin / Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 2007, work not in this catalogue

Comment

  • Museum's website, 9 March 2012:
    Carrier-Belleuse portrays a wrenching struggle between woman and beast in this abduction scene from Greek myth. The inebriated centaur, a guest at the wedding feast of Hippodamia and the Lapith king, grabs the young bride, pinning her to his side and setting off a battle between the human Lapiths and the wild centaurs. Hippodamia is rescued, but the episode starts a greater war between the two factions. In the end, the Lapiths triumph and the centaurs retreat to the mountains. With its classical references (the wedding garlands worn by both figures and the overturned wine jar), nineteenth-century viewers would have recognized the story—a motif for the moral struggle between rationality and bestiality, between civilized behavior and primitive instincts.
    With his Abduction, Carrier-Belleuse introduced an extraordinary neo-baroque dynamism to a classical subject. He captured the figures at the moment of highest tension: the centaur seems to explode as he turns and thrusts both up and back, while Hippodamia twists and stretches, forcing energy out from the center.
    Scholars speculate that while the sensuous, long-limbed Hippodamia is characteristic of Carrier-Belleuse's female nudes, the overall expressive intensity of the sculpture—particularly the centaur's bulky musculature and bellowing mouth—reflect the energetic modeling of Auguste Rodin. Carrier-Belleuse employed Rodin in his studio in the 1870s; it is very possible that the younger artist contributed to this work.